NYC Outdoor Dining – Roberta’s in Brooklyn

If you have friends from out of town who want a Brooklyn experience, you take them for pizza at Roberta’s. It’s deceptively scrappy from the outside, being housed in a somewhat gritty and industrial lot in Bushwick, and being staffed by workers who look like they stepped out of an episode of High Maintenance, but underneath it all, it runs an extremely well-oiled machine cranking out some amazing food. And now that you have no choice but to be a tourist in your own town, why not revisit the wonderful patio at Roberta’s, which recently opened for the summer? Apparently I wasn’t the only one with this idea, because when I checked Resy for weekend brunch availability, it was already slim pickings. 11:00 am, however, was available. A bite of the fabulous Bee Sting pie made the early wake-up call so worth it–outdoor dining at Roberta’s is the best thing ever.

A day at Roberta’s always feels like a party. When you step into the outdoor garden, you’re immediately met by the bar, and the list of beer, wine or cocktails etched in chalk always gets you in a drinking mood. I always prefer my pizza with beer, and there are plenty of craft beer with fun, interesting labels, in addition to your familiar Budweiser, that you can choose from. My personal favorite was this hard seltzer made by Stillwater Artisanal. I can’t seem to find this in a retail store anywhere.

Roberta’s is famous for its pizzas, but the rest of its menu is actually very solid. The Roberta’s team, after all, also runs highly acclaimed fine-dining restaurant Blanca, so clearly they can do more than just make pies. We ordered fried squid, which reminded me of a blend between a traditional calamari and a Chinese pepper squid dish, and a summery squash ceviche dish. They were good, particularly the squid, but let’s be honest about what we were really waiting for…

…the PIZZA. And not just any pizza, but the Bee Sting in particular. Whenever I go to Roberta’s I try to keep an open mind and order another pie in addition to the Bee Sting, but really, all that does is confirm that the Bee Sting is my favorite. Now this other pie, which was some sort of supreme pizza with sausage, cheese and onions, was perfectly fine, but it just was not as good as the Bee Sting. It’s hard to compete with the Homecoming Queen.

What made this outing even more special was that we were celebrating a friend’s birthday, and the staff at Roberta’s was nice enough to let us eat the cake in the garden for a very small cutting fee. Done. Pizza, beer and delicious cake from Partybus Bakehouse (a wonderful, female-run bakery in LES that we should all support asap)–staying home never was so fun.

261 Moore St (between Bogart and White St)
Brooklyn, NY 11206
Reservations for outdoor dining here.