openings

First Look at L’Asso EV, Where Both Kielbasa Lovers and Gluten-Free Types Get a Signature Pie

Photo: Joel Barhamand

L'Asso EV opened last week in an increasingly crowded pizza landscape, but co-owner Greg Barris isn't worried. He wants his pizzeria — a spinoff of L'Asso on Kenmare — to be less a slice joint and more a "community hangout," with a backroom that acts as a gallery and screening room, plus healthier-than-usual offerings. To wit: Both the dough and the sauce are organic, and any pizza can be ordered with a hemp-based gluten-free crust. But don't worry, it's not all seeds and granola: One of the five new pies is the Polish, featuring kielbasa from Polish G.I. next door, along with pickles, mustard oil, mozz, and oregano. The smoked salmon is another nod to the neighborhood, with a bagel-like mix of fish, capers, onions, cream cheese and dill, plus mozzarella.

Speaking of bagels, the restaurant plans to start making them soon, around the time they launch breakfast and lunch service. Barris tells us he's focusing on Montreal-style, to be baked in one of the two wood-burning ovens. And a second wood-burning oven is handy for more than just bagels: Chef Claudio Cristofoli is firing many non-pizza offerings, including steak, quail, and chicken entrees, meatballs, and lasagne.

Beer lovers will find twelve kinds of suds on tap and six in bottles (the rotating lineup is overseen by Barris's brother, Thomas, a cicerone, or beer sommelier). The space is larger than L'Asso on Kenmare, with 75 seats to the other one's 48, and custom light fixtures by the artist Kacper Dolatowski. See photos in our slideshow, and scope out the full food menu below. Oh, and if you liked those pizza calendars from last year, another edition of pizza pinups is out for 2012, available in the restaurants or online for $10 a pop.

Menu [PDF]

L'Asso EV, 107 First Ave. nr. 6th St.; 212-837-2045

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