- scene: Small, hidden space entered by walking into Espoleta; funky and lively
- sip: Wine
- savor: Egglplant; fried pizza; nutella pizza; pizza pizza
- sit: With a friend, with a date, with a group of people
- spend: $
- address: 334 Bowery (google Espoleta if you can't find the address for SRO)
- phone number: 211-466-3301
- website: www.sropizza.com
SRO sounds more complicated than it really is. Forget secret doors, passwords, etc, and just focus on one word: PIZZA. SRO stands for Single Room Occupancy, a nod to its tiny, hidden space, but that concept of singularity can be also be applied to the menu, where pizza, in its many glorious forms, is the true star. It is no secret that I have an intense love for pizza, and it would be easy to write off SRO in favor of places with less shtick, but the food makes that notion impossible. SRO is identifiable from the outside by minimal signage, and a “no vacancy” sign that indicates if the hidden space has room or not. However, reservations are accepted, so that takes some of the intimidation factor away. You enter the space through Espoleta, the tapas joint next door.
The SRO space is very pretty cool- random art, images, etc, on the walls, and the glowing, hot pizza oven sitting in the back, just waiting for the expert hand of world champion pizzaiolo Guilio Adriani to work his magic. If you have ever eaten at Forcella, you know that this guy is no joke; his laid back Italian charm and intrisinic coolness set the tone for the restaurant, as he is onsite every night. It is hot in the restaurant- the oven gives off a lot of heat, so if you are on a date, stay clear of shirts that will show sweat stains. SRO offers a price fixed menu -$38 for three courses, and a glass of wine; you will be more than full; also, WINE. The eggplant appetizer, undoubtedly treated to some time in that glorious oven, is the best of the bunch on offer, a simple, tasty dish that barely needs a knife it is roasted so well. You will not go wrong with any pizza or calzone selection ( they change frequently), because all of the ingredients are super high-quality and fresh, and the texture of the dough is chewy and perfect.
For a real treat, I recommend the fried pizza, Adriani’s invention that he says got him his green card; the dough is quickly fried, before being topped and put in the oven. It is a savory pizza/zeppole hybrid, and unlike anything else in the city. Also in the naughty but nice category is the Nutella pizza, the dessert for two that will make you say “crepes, shmepes.” I can ‘t even describe how delicious and decadent this dessert is, the only real shame being that it comes with a mandatory two courses prior to consumption.
In my mind, even though it is small, SRO is a great place to bring a group of people because you will know ahead of time the cost per head, and everyone can try lots of pizzas…Because there ain’t no party like a pizza party, especially an exclusive one…