November 12th and 13th, 2016
Brooklyn and New Haven
So, if you follow our Instagram, you may have seen that our pizza quest for the year has been accomplished! We spent this weekend eating lots of pizza and celebrating with family and friends. This is going to be a long post, so bear with us.
Back when we started this journey at the beginning of 2016, we were only really worried about making it to one of the pizza places on the list, which was Margot’s. Margot’s is a popup that operates out of Emily in Brooklyn, on one Saturday per month. And tickets are very difficult to get. So difficult, in fact, that we tried for three months to get tickets without any luck (they sell out in less than a second). Then, they stopped doing the popup. As the months went on with no news of a popup again, we resigned ourselves to the fact that we probably would have to cross it off the list without ever making it there.
UNTIL last weekend, when we got an email from Margot’s announcing another popup in November. We BOTH were on computers to get tickets when they went on sale at 4 pm. I didn’t make it through, but Eric did! We managed to book two tickets, ensuring that we would ACTUALLY make it to all 101 this year.
On Saturday, we drove into Brooklyn and went in to Emily (and actually met THE Emily!) We were not used to seeing the restaurant so empty! We haven’t posted on Emily yet, but it is usually packed for dinner with lines out the door. We had placed our pizza orders online when we bought the tickets, and we had opted for the Margot-rita and the Collaboroni (jalapeño and pepperoni). All of the pizzas at Margot’s are “bar-style”, which means super thin and crispy. The toppings of the Collaboroni reminded us most of the pizza at Emily and EmmySquared (not surprisingly), but the only other pizza we’ve had that was similar was at Colony Grill in Stamford.
All in all, it was worth trying to get tickets and tasting Adam Kuban’s pies. We will probably never be able to get tickets again, but we were glad the fourth time was the charm!
After our lunch, we headed to New Haven for our finale pizza party at Frank Pepe’s, which was on Sunday afternoon. Having spent 5 years in New Haven, Pepe’s was always our go-to pizza place. We knew the best times to go to beat the lines, and we constantly ordered too much food just so we would have leftovers to take home and eat for the rest of the week. We were thrilled that so many of our family members were able to make the trip from all over the East coast to party with us on Sunday.
We rented out The Spot, which is the second building of Pepe’s on Wooster Street. This is actually the original Pepe’s location, started in 1925. The main location moved to the larger building in 1937, and the Spot became a second establishment in the 1970’s. There are always lines out the door for the regular restaurant, but hardly any for The Spot, which is located a bit farther off the road, although it serves the same exact pizza.
The staff brought out pizza after pizza, including our favorites, the plain tomato pie and the veggie special, the famous white clam, some four cheese, and a new one (to us, anyways) that had spinach, mushroom, and gorgonzola. We also had a few meat pies, like the chicken and roasted red pepper, and the sausage, which was also a hit with the crowd. I probably don’t have to say that the salad went mostly untouched (although the leftover salad is going to be a welcome lunch today!)
After eating so many pizzas this year, it was great to come back to Pepe’s and find that it is still our favorite. Sure, it could be partly because we have such strong connections with it as previous regulars, but it is also just really good pizza, and we can never get sick of true New Haven style.
On a side note, Pepe’s has expanded to several locations now, the most recent being in Chestnut Hill, MA. While we haven’t been to all of these locations, if you are going to go to Pepe’s, you should definitely make it to the one in New Haven. The others just aren’t the same.
Even though our 101 is complete, we haven’t finished posting about all the pizzas we ate this year on the blog! So we will still be posting, and we have some good stories still to tell. Also, we will be posting our own official ranking of the 2015 101 Best Pizzas in America tomorrow!
Margot’s (operating out of Pizza Loves Emily)
919 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Frank Pepe’s Pizza
157 Wooster Street
New Haven, CT 06511