Pizza (and Me) Loves Emily in Clinton Hill

I’ve been obsessed with Emily for awhile. This sounds a little Single White Female stalkerish, so let me clarify–Emily is a restaurant in Clinton Hill run by Emily and Matt Hyland, and I’ve been dying to try the pizza there for some time. What was stopping me? Clinton Hill just sounded really far for some reason (it’s actually really not), and the restaurant doesn’t take reservations.

It makes total sense then that I stumbled upon Emily by accident. We were wrapping up a cupping at Parlor Coffee’s facility in Brooklyn Navy Yard, which is in the middle of nowhere, and started walking towards civilization, or basically any area that had a train back to Manhattan. Clinton Hill happened to be the neighborhood that was the closest, and as we made our way there and walked down Fulton St, we saw some people waiting outside a restaurant. I peeked in, exclaimed “OMG, this is Emily!”, and felt like I was being reunited with an old friend, even though we had never met. But clearly this was meant to be, and we had to eat here, no matter how long the wait. Luckily the wait was only 10 minutes. We were doing this!

the emmy burger, featuring a grass fed dry aged patty, pretzel bun, caramelized onions, cornichons and fries
the emmy burger, featuring a grass fed dry aged patty, pretzel bun, caramelized onions, cornichons and fries
the delicious strata of beef, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, sauce and pretzel bun
the delicious strata of grass-fed dry aged beef, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and pretzel bun

Everyone around us ordered the same thing, a pizza and the Emmy Burger, a gorgeous hunk of grass fed dry aged meat that there ever was. I came here thinking I would only have eyes for the pizza, but I also fell in love with the burger. This really is the best burger that I’ve ever had. It’s such a high quality patty that’s legitimately good on its own as a standalone ground beef steak. It’s seasoned so well with pepper, garlic and caramelized onions, and the combination of the melted cheddar cheese and the secret Emmy sauce is magic. It takes a certain kind of bun to be able to support this big, juicy patty, and the sturdy pretzel bun is up to the task. It’s served with these thin, crispy french fries that taste like the ones at McDonald’s. I can’t say enough good things about it.

a slice of the colony pizza pie
a slice of the colony pizza pie

The burger was a hard act to follow, but the pizza also made a very strong showing. The two girls sitting next to us recommended that we order the Colony pie, and judging by how happy and content they looked after eating it, I decided to take their advice. I was instantly mesmerized by how amazing the pizza was. The thin and blistery wood-fired Neopolitan-style crust was perfect, and the flavors of the toppings covered the essential parts of the palate–sweetness from the honey, heat from the pickled chili, and saltiness from the cheese. If you’ve ever had the bee sting pizza from Roberta’s, it tastes like that, and that’s one very high bar. Emily can add another one to her many admirers–Pizza Loves Emily, and so do I.


Emily
919 Fulton St (between Waverly Ave and Clinton Ave)
Brookyln, NY 11238
(347) 844-9588

 

It’s Wine Time! A Recap of Brooklyn Uncorked

brooklyn uncorked - sign

They say that some things improve with age. Wine is certainly one of them, along with wine tasting events, which explains the recurring popularity of Brooklyn Uncorked. Last Thursday, over 60 vendors plied guests with good food and wine at Skylight One Hanson, a beautiful Art Deco building in Fort Greene. The palatial surroundings were the perfect backdrop for an evening of bacchanalian excess–it’s like Brooklyn was transformed into Rome for a day, a grand civilization that drank itself into decline.

Except New York’s mighty food and wine empire is still thriving and growing. The Long Island North Fork region was well represented here, with vineyards like Roanoke, Paumanok and Shinn making a showing. The cabernet sauvignon from Roanoke was definitely my favorite red of the night–the full bodied flavors and the medium tannins left a very positive impression. I was also a big fan of T’Jara’s cabernet franc, which was slightly robust but very drinkable.

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bottles from roanoke vineyards in north fork

Another region with a strong wine tradition includes the Finger Lakes, an area in upstate New York that is known for its rieslings. The Finger Lakes Wine Alliance shared bottles of award-winning rieslings and cabernet francs from various vineyards in the region. All the rieslings I tried were excellent, with my favorite being the sweet and crisp riesling from Heron Hill. The rich, buttery cabernet franc from Wagner was also a pleasant surprise–I didn’t know the Finger Lakes made good reds!

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the excellent riesling from heron hill in the finger lakes

Man does not live by wine alone–he needs some good food too. Luckily there were loads of tasty bites at every turn. Carbs were definitely a big presence here. There were many varieties of meat and cheese on bread that were being served, as well as straight up fried dough from Brooklyn pizzeria Krescendo. I personally preferred those vendors who thought outside of the carb box and actually tried to make something interesting. The best dish by far was the Korean meatball from Emily, a Clinton Hill restaurant run by a cute husband and wife team. The blended pork and beef meatballs were tender and packed with flavor. The heat from the gochujang sauce and the richness of the crema were a very complementary pairing, coating the meatball in a heavenly layer of rich, spicy sauce.

korean meatballs from emily
korean meatballs from emily

I also enjoyed the refreshing alubiada salad from Basque restaurant Txikito. The sweet butternut squash puree tasted very clean and fresh, and it was a really nice canvas in which to showcase the hearty and smoky black eyed peas and squid. The good textures and balanced flavor profiles were very impressive.

The chicken mole tacos from BAMcafé definitely played to the comfort food cravings that began to kick in with each sip. The small tortilla was overflowing with tender, savory chicken chunks, and each messy bite was absolutely satisfying. I usually go to BAM for the theater, now I know to go for the food!

brooklyn uncorked - bamcafe chicken mole taco
mini chicken mole tacos from bamcafe

No dinner is complete without dessert, and Whole Foods was on hand serving its delicious vanilla bean panna cotta with berry compote. You could tell the vanilla beans used in the pudding was of the highest quality–it was prominent but delicate, receding enough to showcase the vibrant flavors of the dark and gelatinous berry compote.

brooklyn uncorked - whole food vanilla bean panna cotta
vanilla bean panna cotta with berry compote from whole foods

As I stumbled back with a buzz, the details of how I managed to get home were hazy, but my memories of what I liked were very clear. New York has always had a very strong food scene, but there’s also a wine tradition to match. There’ll be more wines to add to the repertoire, not from Napa or France, but right in the backyards of New York state.