It’s boom times for square pies. Detroit-pie slinger Emmy Squared and its cheesy forebearer Emily have been two of the biggest, if not the biggest, new hits in the wide world of New York pizza and burgers. These days, the brands are expanding as fast as an overfed sourdough starter. A sort of Emily–Emmy Squared hybrid opened in the West Village last year, and now the third Emmy Squared has opened in the East Village, following an expansion earlier this year to Nashville. It’s one of two Emily-family restaurants that will open in the neighborhood; another is coming to the old GG’s space. (While the restaurant opened over the weekend, it will be closed today and tomorrow.)
Emmy Squared has received heaps of praise for its Detroit-style pizza, landing a post on New York’s Cheap Eats list in 2016 — the Underground Gourmet called it “crisp but supple and springy” — and restaurant critic Adam Platt’s Where to Eat 2017. The dough is focaccia-like, crowned with a crispy cheese crust; in many ways, it can resemble the fast-food pizza of your adolescent dreams, even for those who aren’t from Michigan. The new location, formerly home to Three of Cups, is largely similar to what you’d get across the river in Brooklyn or down in Nashville, menu included.
Chef-partner Matt Hyland has a way with hamburgers — the one at Emily is part of the Zeitgeist — and his double-stack Le Big Matt is unsurprisingly on the menu here. The top-notch chicken parm makes an appearance, and the roster of pies includes the Colony², vodka, and Hula Hog, made with Benton’s bacon, pineapple, and pickled jalapeños. There will be two new pizzas exclusive (for now, anyway) to the location. One is the Curry Row, made with chutneys, onions, peppers, cauliflower, and Brooklyn Delhi’s fantastic achaar. The more exciting of the two, though, nods to a recent trend in the New York sandwich world: the invasion of the muffulettas. Called the Emmyletta, it’s made with mortadella, Ezzo pepperoni, and olive salad. Asked if it would be left to sit overnight — at least one of us at Grub is an advocate for cold pizza! — Hyland was at first confused, then wrote back, “Haha, no. We don’t press the pizza for several hours to meld the flavors.” (Take from that what you will.)
The Emily expansion has not come out of the blue. Around the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, Emmy Squared brought on a major investor in Howard Greenstone, the prolific restaurateur who co-founded Rosa Mexicano. When Emmy Squared expanded into Nashville, it moved into the 404 Hotel (and former home of 404 Kitchen), where Greenstone is a partner and adviser. In other words, given Greenstone’s resources and this pizza’s popularity, it’s unlikely this is the last you’re going to hear about an Emmy Squared expansion.
Emmy Squared, 32 First Ave., nr. E. 5th St.; 917-463-3737