Overall Experience - 9.5
Summary : One of the best pizza places I've been. Located in the heart of a historic riverfront town, The Parlor's delicious pies are composed from creative topping combinations.
I’ll get straight to it: The Parlor (14 Cedar Street) is one of the best pizza places I’ve been to and you should plan a trip there as soon as possible.
Back in the summer of 2014, I was passing through Dobbs Ferry — which is a 45 minute drive north of NYC — with a friend. We were hungry and stumbled across The Parlor. I thought it was pretty solid at the time, although we only ordered two pies, so I didn’t have much to judge it on. I returned a year later with my fiancee and had an equally awesome experience, but once again we were limited to two pies. In order to put The Parlor to a true test, I gathered together a bigger group and we headed up there on a recent Saturday afternoon to try a greater portion of the menu — six pies in all. Every single one was delicious.
The Parlor looks like it belongs in Brooklyn. There is rock music blasting, exposed brick walls, craft beers on tap, and tattooed waiters and waitresses staffing the tables. Sounds a lot like… Roberta’s, right? Or one of the dozens of other “hip” spots seemingly modeled after Roberta’s. Everyone is trying so hard to be Brooklyn these days and often times it’s not genuine. Luckily, at The Parlor they’ve put their own spin on what a “hip” pizzeria should be. And not only does it work, but it has flourished in a quaint town of 10,000 residents which is probably best known as the home for George Washington’s encampment during the Revolutionary War or — 200 years later — as the childhood home of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. If Zuck ever makes to The Parlor, I’m sure his review would be:
The six pies we ordered were: Four Cheese, Bone Marrow, Butternut Squash, Shrooms, Margherita, and special Smoked Tomato pie. There was no weak link. They were all fantastic. Let’s discuss each:
Four Cheese (ricotta, house made mozzarella, scamorza, parmigiano, chili honey): On the surface, a four cheese pie might sound unremarkable. The worst thing about a four cheese pie is when one of the cheeses (usually gorgonzola or ricotta) overwhelm the other cheeses. That’s not the case here. All four cheeses mix together perfectly. And to top it off? Some chili honey!
Bone Marrow (vincotto, rosemary, parmigiano, garlic): Bone marrow is a very polarizing food. Some people can’t stand the thought of it. And others love it. I fall in the latter group. I’ve never had it on pizza before… and now I want it on every pizza I eat! The Parlor mixes it with some cooked wine sauce to give it what I can only describe as a “rich” flavor. Melt in your mouth kind of rich. This was the best pie there is at The Parlor.
Butternut Squash (house made mozzarella, sage, bacon fried cashews): Often times pizza places throw a butternut squash pie on their menu in the fall, but rarely is it executed well. Sometimes, you’re served chunks of butternut squash. And other times, you can barely taste it. But butternut squash pizza perfection is served here along with mozzarella, sage, and bacon fried cashews. The ingredients are combined in an ideal ratio to elicit all of the sensations you’d hope for with great pizza.
Shrooms (maitaki shrooms, caramelized onion, truffle oil, besciamella): I always say that my ideal pizza is a Neapolitan style pie with caramelized onions and mushrooms. And this is precisely what you’ll find on the Shroom pie. And rather than throwing some mozzarella on there, like you might traditionally find, The Parlor substitutes a bechamel sauce and a touch of truffle oil. Also, we’re not talking some low quality raw button mushrooms here. These are maitaki mushrooms which will run you more than a few bucks at the supermarket. And they don’t even skimp on them. There are lots and lots of mushrooms on this pie, hence the name.
Margherita (cookery mozzarella, pomodoro, basil, olive oil): When our Margherita pie came out, I found myself remarking: wow — even their margherita pie is delicious. It’s the most simple pie on the menu, but you should by no means skip it. You might be tempted by the more exotic pies, but please don’t overlook the margherita or you’ll be missing out!
Special (smoked tomatoes, mozzarella, chili, shallots, and thyme): The Parlor always seems to have some seasonal specials available. And this one happened to be particularly awesome. It was smokey and spicy and had all of the other high quality ingredients you’d expect at this point.
One of my favorite things about the Parlor — and something that distinguishes them from any other pizza place I’ve ever been — is that each pie is served with a scissors. What? A scissors? Yes, you get to cut each pizza as you see fit. It’s interactive!
You know what sucks — going to a pizza place with five people when they cut your pie into four slices. Then you typically have to take a knife and fork and cut one of the pieces in half. The ingredients fall off. You put them back on the tiny slices you’ve now cut. And then you have to repeat this for each subsequent pie. Letting guests cut their own pies solves this issue. And, say, there is a vegetarian who isn’t going to eat a meat pie. Then you cut it accordingly. I can’t believe more pizza places don’t do this (by the way, the scissors work really well in terms of cutting).
The pies at Parlor are $15-$19 — so basically what you’d find in the city — but that’s fair for the quality you’re getting. There are a lot of other non-pizza items on the menu too, a couple of which I tried (like chicken & waffles). They were great too.
I can’t recommend The Parlor highly enough. It gives every pizza place I’ve been to in New York City a run for its money. And if you live in New York City, it’s actually pretty easy to get to. If you rent a Zipcar from Midtown, it’s a 30 minute drive. Want to ride you bike? It’s only 16 miles. Or catch a train to Dobbs Ferry. It’s only a 15 minute walk from the train station there. Which you’ll need… in order to walk off all of those pies.