Oh the bar style pie. An under appreciated pizza style which is rarely found here in New York City. My favorite hails from Star Tavern in Orange, New Jersey followed closely by Colony Bar & Grill in Stamford, Connecticut. But last night I had some bar pies in the heart of Brooklyn which rival those. The location? Margot’s Pizza. A pop-up pizza shop that’s yet to launch, but will (possibly) be operating out of Pizza Loves Emily (919 Fulton Street) in Clinton Hill on Tuesday evenings when the restaurant is closed. Or not…
You see, Margot’s is the brainchild of Adam Kuban. If you don’t know Adam you should. He is the Dom DeMarco of pizza blogging, having founded Slice over a decade ago (did blogs even exist back then?). It’s very possible that he’s written more about pizza on the web than anyone. And since he stopped blogging for Slice on a daily basis a few years ago, he’s been focusing much of his energy on making pizza. And if you follow him on social media (@akuban on Twitter and Instagram) then you probably know that a bar pie is his style of choice (Adam has also been working at Paulie Gee’s and hopes to open an outpost in Portland, OR sometime in the near future).
Now is probably a good time to discuss what a bar pie actually is. Generally speaking a bar pie is a crispy, thin crust pie that is cooked in a gas fired oven and contains a simple combination of ingredients. Adam’s pies stay true to form except that at Pizza Loves Emily he happens to be cooking his pies in a wood fired oven. Each pie is rolled out, topped, and then placed in a black steel pan. It cooks for about 4 minutes after which it’s removed from the pan to finish cooking “naked” for about one more minute.
Before I tell you how delicious Adam’s pies were it’s worth noting that Adam and I are both part of what I consider a tight knit NYC pizza community (many of whom were also in attendance last night including Paulie Gee, Scott’s Pizza Tours, Pizza Commander, & Pizza A Casa). So while everything I’m about to say is 100% true — if you suspect any bias, please go and try his pies for yourself if and when they are available to the general public. Then we can talk.
Okay… here we go. The pizzas that Adam produced were awesome! Last night was intended as a test run and while there aren’t many areas for improvement, I know that his pies will only get better and better as he continues to perfect his craft. He’s well on his way to developing a menu that is as good, if not better than that at Star Tavern and Colony. And the fact that this is happening as a “pop-up” only adds to the allure if you ask me.
Adam kept things relatively simple last night, focusing on six pies. My favorites were the Margot-rita, which is a straight forward basic bar pie, as well as his Famous Original A which features sausage and shaved red onions. One of the signature flavors that can be found on many of Adam’s pies is from a cheese mix he’s created that includes low moisture mozzarella and white cheddar cheese. I was certainly a fan.
Margot’s Pizza inaugural gathering also happened to fall just as my annual 8-day pizza hiatus (aka Passover) was ending. And I couldn’t think of a better way to break the holiday than with some of Adam’s pies. The photos below don’t do them justice, but you can feel free to check them out nevertheless.
If you want to attend a future pop-up you can sign up for the Margot’s Pizza e-mail list here.
Sauce, Romano, Cheese, Basil, Oregano
Sauce, Romano, Cheese, Mushroom Mix (Cremini, Shiitake, Portobello), Truffled Sottocenere Cheese
Sauce, Romano, Cheese, Pepperoni
Famous Original A
Sauce, Romano, Parmesan, Sausage, Shaved Red Onion
Romano, Cheese, Garlic, Semi-Dried Cherry Tomatoes, Basil
The Love Supreme
Sauce, Romano, Cheese, Sausage, Diced Green Pepper, Shaved Red Onion, Oregano, Black pepper