This past summer I was super excited to try out the much-hyped 900 Degrees at 29 Seventh Avenue South. Though many had cited this as a “cursed location,” I decided to take my family there for dinner before a trip to Target Free Friday at MoMA. I mean, it’s the West Village – how bad could it be?
We got there around 5:30-6:00 PM, and it was empty. I think we were literally the only ones there. Apparently, this wasn’t a rare occurrence – though I really couldn’t tell you why. I was even worried about getting a pie, since they have a disclaimer on their menu that they only make 73 margherita pies per day. They also describe it as:
“World Pizza Cup Winner Naples, Italy
Dough Mixed by Hand Using San Felice Flour then Proofed in Neapolitan Wood Boxes, San Marzano Tomatoes Dop, Sea Salt, Mozzarella Fior Di Latte, Fresh Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil”
Sounds impressive, huh? Well, this is what we got:
Note: my family doesn’t understand my need to photograph my food before diving in; hence, the half-missing pie.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I completely enjoyed this pizza (because when do I not?). But just looking at it, I have memories of how.. wet.. it was. I tend to favor more cheese, less sauce – and this had a bit too much sauce for me.
Perhaps more interesting to me was the 2 1/2 foot Pizza Romana (we ordered the “Bennici” style):
Intended to essentially cover three courses, the pie is broken into three sections of toppings (once again, half-eaten before I could photograph its beauty, but all including mozzarella cheese):
On the far left: Italian Pizza Sauce, Natural Casing Pepperoni, Fresh Pinched Sausage.
In the middle: Ricotta, Garlic, Prosciutto Crudo, Piquante Peppers, Arugula, Piave
On the right: Pesto, Caramelized Onion, Robiola Cheese, Roasted Tomatoes (my favorite – I’m a pesto freak)
Everyone was very impressed with this pie, and even I, the picky meat-eater, tried out a slice from each section. 900 Degrees offered two other varieties of this Pizza Romana, which you can see on their menu here.
So why did it fail? According to Eater, it had a lot to do with how high the rent was for that space compared to how many people actually came by, poor service, atmosphere. I would have given it another shot, but hey – you win some, you lose some. I’ve got a pretty extensive list of places to go, so, moving on…