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Veloce Pizzeria: A First Look!

Veloce Pizzeria (103 1st Ave @ 7th Street) is the latest addition to the swarm of upscale pizza shops that have taken over the East Village recently. It opened last week, and Lauren and I swung by on Friday night to see what was cooking. With only five Sicilian pies on the menu, the selection is somewhat limited although with pizza I always preach quality over quantity.

The restaurant is pretty bare bones. Tables are covered with red and white checked tablecloths. There are three televisions – two which were playing a western movie and one which had on an Asian film. The left wall, visible below, is covered with horizontal wine bottle along an illuminated backdrop. The place is a mix between that old school pizzeria in your hometown and a hip NYC lounge that is trying to be a bit too cool. The restaurant seats about 50 people and was less than half full on Friday evening around 10PM.

There are five Spuntini (appetizers) on the menu and Lauren and I opted for the Cazzili — potato fritters with parmigiano and mint. They were tasty, but nothing to write home about. Some were notably more salty than others. The portion was just the right size for two people to split before they delve into their pizza.

Of the five pizzas on the menu, we were leaning towards ordering the Funghi Pie (sauted oyster, mushrov, mozzarella, and thyme), which we preceded to do once the waiter let us know that was his favorite. It was a solid mushroom pie, not so different from, say, the Shroomtown pie at Posto/Vezzo/Spunto/Gruppo. The 12-inch Sicilian pie was cut into 9 slices and was just large enough to leave us full and satisfied.

The other four pies on the menu are:

Sfincione (tomato sauce, anchovy, onion, caciocavallo, toasted bread crumb) – $15
Mignotta (mozzarella, sweet onion, arugula) – $16
Margherita (tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil) – $15
Salsiccia (garlic sausage ragu, mozzarella) – $18

We didn’t get dessert, but it is worth noting that they have a pretty extensive wine list. Glasses are $8 or $9 and bottles start at $32. I paired my pizza with a glass of Sunnae which was quite enjoyable (although as my friends know, I know nothing about wine). White, please!!

After dinner, we took a look in the kitchen which was decorated with some cool graffiti. The kitchen was expectantly small considering the limited options on the menu.

As I wrote before, I’d rather a pizza place serve up one amazing pie than a dozen sub-par pies. Nevertheless, as business picks up, it will be beneficial for Veloce Pizzeria to expand their menu and develop more Sicilian pies for diners to choose from. Veloce’s niche is the fact that they only serve Sicilian pies and there is definitely room in the New York City pizza market for such a place. As long as the prices remain reasonable, I can see this new pizzeria sticking around for the long run.

About I Dream Of Pizza

Some guys dream about winning the Powerball jackpot, making love to Kate Upton, or scoring the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. But personally, I spend most of my time dreaming about digging my face into a mouth watering slice of pizza. Fireworks are ignited. Music comes out of nowhere. And just like that, I’ve fallen in love once again. Since 2008, I've chronicled my pizza eating adventures in NYC and around the world on I DREAM OF PIZZA. From reviews and recipes to obscure video clips and news articles, this is your one stop shop for all things pizza.

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