Maybe L’asso is jealous that, despite its excellence in the D.O.C. realm, it never really got the hype of, say, Artichoke or Co., but yesterday the pizzeria introduced the first of a few new pies, the Puta di Mare (“prostitute of the sea”), topped with artichoke sauce, artichoke hearts, broccoli rabe, sautéed shrimp, and fresh mozzarella. Not only does a press release call it “the tastiest artichoke pizza in New York,” but it goes on: “L’asso is throwing down its dough to officially challenge Artichoke Basil [sic] to a pizza duel!”
Folks like Slice, who’ve criticized Artichoke’s signature spinach-and-artichoke creation for being “soppy, gloppy party-dip-on-crust” will find a much more enjoyable interplay of flavors here, with a lingering citrus aftertaste that makes it truly addictive (our dining companion later texted us: “I think I shall order that pie tomorrow and the day after that as well”). The thin crust and light, relatively grease-free layer of toppings means you can eat an entire pie without feeling like you’ve just chugged a gallon of queso fundido, as is often the case with Artichoke.
So with Artichoke out of the way (by our measure, anyway), which pizzeria will L’asso target next? Can we expect a much less garlicky and overloaded interpretation of the Lombardi’s clam pie?