Artichoke Basille Pizzeria

By grace.g.yang · July 28, 2008
Under: Cheap Eats,Dinner,East Village,Italian

Two weeks after Artichoke opened, I went there with Chris to check it out. There was no line (which is unheard of now) and we were really looking forward to trying their supposedly awesome pizza. The owners are cousins and were really nice and talked to me about how they started Artichoke while they were preparing our pizza (more below).

Artichoke pizzeria:

So the place opened a while ago and I’m sure you’ve read a lot about it, but it was started by these guys from Staten Island and New Jersey. One of the owners’ mom’s has a restaurant on Staten Island, and he got his start by making breads at her restaurant. People really liked it, so he kept experimenting and made the Artichoke pizza (a spinach and artichoke pie). Here is one of the owners making our pie:

The guys found the 14th location by luck – they were walking by it one day and saw the for lease sign and decided to try it out. When Chris and I first went there, they were still commuting from Staten Island everyday (I know they were looking for a place to live and don’t know if they found somewhere closer to Manhattan), but they worked really hard trying to get the restaurant together and told me it’s pretty normal for them to stay until 4AM before they head back to Staten Island. It got rave reviews (hence them staying until 4AM to please everyone) and even David Chang from Momofuku bought a couple pies for his employees during the first couple of weeks. They also serve cauliflower fritters and other things, but their pizzas are the main attraction.

After about 20 minutes, our pie came out of the oven:

Initially, Chris and I were in shock – the pizza looks so….heavenly and delicious! We took the pizza back on the L and couldn’t wait to get home so we had our initial slice while waiting for the subway:

We were so excited that I burned the roof of my mouth trying to scarf down the slice. It was salty and creamy from the Parmesan cheese, and the crust was pretty crunchy (a little stiff, actually). After one slice, I felt a little…bloated (to be perfectly honest). In reality, it tasted like an appetizer from TGI Friday’s (the spinach and artichoke dip that comes with slices of pita). The sauce is too heavy and you really can’t have more than one slice (otherwise your arteries will hate you in the morning). Chris and I went back to try the regular pizza (marinara and cheese) but weren’t impressed by it, either. The crust was too stiff and there wasn’t enough sauce OR cheese. They just introduced another slice, the crab pizza, which I heard is selling well. It sounds too similar to a crab dip – I didn’t try it, but I read that it’s disgusting.

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza & Brewery on Urbanspoon

Reader Comments

It is a bit heavy and yes like dipping sauce…but, bonus points for unique flavor in my opinion. I too take the L train and its hard to beat the price for something that good before I hop on to head over to brooklyn.
Great blog by the way! I think I spent an hour just amazed by all the delicious places you ate at. Keep up the good work…or shall I say keep up the good eating.

Written By tontek on August 15th, 2008 @ 11:07 pm

OMG this looks amazing! Cant wait to eat there when I visit NYC next weekend! Grace I love your blog!

Written By Brooke on February 5th, 2010 @ 9:03 am

Add a Comment

required, use real name
required, will not be published
optional, your blog address

Previose Post: