Pizza Vinoteca, located at 15 Union Square West in Manhattan, offers a delightful modern take on Italian classics, featuring a unique variety of thin crusted whole-wheat pizza.
Pizza Vinoteca is in a prime location. There are many shops and restaurants surrounding the restaurant, as well as a Regal movie theater and the Strand bookstore. The Union Square area is perfect for college students, as it is also the hub for students from other city schools, such as NYU and the New School.
The restaurant has a modern decor in black and white with red accents and had a colorful wine bottle storage unit that looks like a piece of art. Once we were seated, we took note of the glass roof and the tall Sophia Loren mosaic.
Our server came over to explain the restaurant’s iPad ordering system. This use of technology is fitting for the modern dining experience that Pizza Vinoteca offers. There were two iPads on the table, so we picked them up and began perusing the menu. It was tricky to use at first, but once we got the hang of it, the menus were a fun way to order food. Once both of us selected our meals, we sent the order to the kitchen. When we had a question, we selected the option to have our waiter come to the table. In addition to ordering with ease, we were able to continue our conversation while waiting for our waiter to come over, rather than looking for him or waving him over. This useful feature also enables diners to eat and order at their own speed.
In addition to being high-tech, Pizza Vinoteca also offered an excellent dining experience. In addition to 36 options for wine by the glass, all under $10, you can also order cheese, olives or a salad as an appetizer. As my appetizer, I ordered a grilled shrimp salad with spinach, fennel and orange. For someone who prefers simpler salads, this was certainly a daring decision on my part. However, the grilled shrimp was tasty and paired well with the vinaigrette dressing and the oranges served as a delightful contrast. My friend ordered a chilled corn soup. Unlike most soups, this was specifically made to be served cold. She felt like she was eating corn on the cob with a spoon, a unique twist on a classic.
Then came the pizza. I ordered a vegetable pizza — eggplant with tomato, mozzarella and chili, while my friend ordered a simple margherita pizza. The portions were suitable (not too much or too little), assuming most people will have appetizers and/or dessert. Our waiter offered us a plate for the middle of the table to share. This was a great idea, because we knew we wanted to sample different kinds of pizza. Both pizzas were really good and had whole wheat crust, which made us feel less guilty about eating so much.
For dessert, twists on classics were a nice surprise. There were gelato floats, such as root beer and creamsicle and bombolinis, which are a Tuscan-style donuts served with fillings and sugar toppings. I opted for a dessert that I had never heard of before, a strawberry banana gelato panini. It is described as a handheld sundae wrapped in vanilla cake and prepared in a panini press. Once again, I was pleased.
We left Pizza Vinoteca feeling full and satisfied. The food was superb and the atmosphere was very hip. Even though the high-tech menu caught us off guard, the idea behind it is interesting and it shows how this restaurant is setting trends that will continue in the future. If you are out with friends or looking for a simple place for a date, Pizza Vinoteca should definitely be on your radar.
Nicole Horton and Amanda Giglio are the Culture Editor and Assistant Culture Editor for The Fordham Ram.