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Daniel

Ops Pizza

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http://www.opsbk.com/

 

http://www.grubstreet.com/2016/10/ops-in-brooklyn-specializes-in-pizza-and-natural-wine.html

 

 

Every restaurant person in Brooklyn I know has been talking about this pizza place for a few months.. Lots of bartenders and waiters and cooks have been going to this place in Bushwick.. We finally made it there yesterday and we were blown away.. It was so delicious..

 

I rarely get excited about pizza but, this is my favorite pizza place right now.. The dough is fantastic, the sauce is delicious, the toppings are great and they have delicious wine..

 

I was recently in Montreal and all the cool kids are doing natural wines.. Exclusive natural wine programs. This place has a wonderful program all natural.. Another fun thing this place does and recent places have been doing is, pushing the sampling of wine.. We asked for a Lambrusco or something along those lines.. Our server brought out three bottles and poured about an ounce taste of each wine to each person at the table.. I didn't feel like a Lambrusco so, I said, just give me a tempranillo.. I said, I don't do not require a sample, you can just pour it.. She said "we encourage sampling here" This had our server came back with two different bottles and poured two more ounce rounds of samples.. I am almost a full glass of wine in, before I even settle on which one to choose..

 

But, it's very informal and there are discussion and it's all done with a genuine intention of talking about wine and making the customer happy.. No tipping and good service? How is this possible

 

The menu is tiny. A couple of salads and then the pizza... Well, also there is an amazing flourless amaro cake served with a simple cream that we eventually devoured.. But, really a couple of salads and pizzas...

 

The salad was super interesting, bitter greens, an apple vinegar and burnt black olives.. The burnt black olives were a thing of amazement.. So delicious, it made the salad..

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On to the pizza.. Sour dough crust, it stands up to sauce, it doesnt have that soupy mess though, it looked like it.. The margherita pizza is uncooked san marzanos and beautiful tomato sauce, a little basil.. This pie is everything you hoped it would be.. It's delicious.

 

You see how the edge is kept and it's not a soupy mess but, yet the pizza is so airy and chewy with it not being overly crunchy.. It was really perfect in terms of my preference. The sour dough is there but, not as intense as the pizza at Co.

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Broccoli rabe, potatoes, provola and ricotta salata:

 

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This is their simple marinara.. The sauce is fantastic.. Like really beautiful rich and stewed and not too messed with.. It's the marinara sauce that you hope for every time you get served the side spaghetti and the Italian American restaurants..

 

A little touch of oregano.

 

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This was also mind blowingly delicious:

 

 

Onions, like tons of onions, crunchy and sweet.. Sharp Provolone, mozz, oregano and some perserved tomatoes.. This pizza, well, it's a one of a kind and I am going to have to come back for this:

 

For this pizza, I will forsake all others:

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We were sitting at the bar at Beasts and Bottles the other night, eating our dinners. A guy sitting a couple of seats away from me was/is a wine distributor and was there looking for business. We wound up talking about lots of local places and he took notes on our favorites for food, wine, etc. as he and his wife are in Bklyn and always looking for places to try. His one major recommendation (over Lucali and several others that he knows well) was Ops. We talked about the dough, as I'm not really into sourdough breads, but he convinced me its a must try. On my short list. Feel like going back?

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theres another thread (bushwick?) with positive comments on this place from me and I think johanabanana.

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To be fair to New York, we were way in front of Montreal on the natural wine thing.

 

I am sure but, i guess they have a much higher concentration of places that are exclusively natural.. Or obviously, this is my account and is based on assumption and clouded observations and nothing resembling facts.

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I'd been hearing about this place for the past year, mainly from NY-based wine importers passing through Austin. Finally had a chance to visit a couple of weeks ago and had a blast. Daniel pretty much nails it. They also have a square pie, which is delicious, but I was partial to their Neapolitan. While they have a wine list online, there isn't one at the restaurant. Instead, you scan the walls and talk to the staff. That's not usually my favorite setup, but it worked. We ended up trying some really delicious stuff. It's obvious they have great relationships with Percy and Zev (who was at the adjacent table) and other natural wine importers. They have some bottles that aren't easy to find. Additionally, if I understood it correctly, they'll open any bottle in the house and sell you a glass for $12. And I believe all bottles are priced at either $48 or $60. Great stuff.

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To be fair to New York, we were way in front of Montreal on the natural wine thing.

I wouldn't go so far as to say I am sick of natural wine because I drink a ton of it and really like it, but I would say that I'm kind of unexcited every time I hear about a new restaurant opening that will serve "small plates / tapas / casual name-your-country-where-they-speak-a-romance-language" with natural wines. It's almost a cliche at this point.

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To be fair to New York, we were way in front of Montreal on the natural wine thing.

Well, the wine thing in its entirety.

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To be fair to New York, we were way in front of Montreal on the natural wine thing.

I wouldn't go so far as to say I am sick of natural wine because I drink a ton of it and really like it, but I would say that I'm kind of unexcited every time I hear about a new restaurant opening that will serve "small plates / tapas / casual name-your-country-where-they-speak-a-romance-language" with natural wines. It's almost a cliche at this point.

 

The other issue is that too many of these places (of which is sounds like OPS is not one) is that their "Natural Wine" selection all comes from the widely distributed names on the books of 2-3 distributors. Not that the wine isn't fine, but the proffer isn't so unique.

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It's reasonable to think there'll be plenty of wannabes at this stage, 30 years after l'Ange Vin, 25 years after Shonzui... who was first in nyc? I think Ten Bells was 2008... but I haven't really noticed an epidemic of them. What are some examples?

 

eta: using exclusively natural wine bars as a marker, of course there were natural wines on lists before that.

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Four different waitersSpoke about four horsemen in Montreal as there favorite place in New York. (Thats the craziest sentence Ive ever written)

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First place I remember in NYC with an exclusively natural list is 360 in Red Hook, though that was more restaurant than wine bar. That would have been '03/'04.

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It's reasonable to think there'll be plenty of wannabes at this stage, 30 years after l'Ange Vin, 25 years after Shonzui... who was first in nyc? I think Ten Bells was 2008... but I haven't really noticed an epidemic of them. What are some examples?

 

eta: using exclusively natural wine bars as a marker, of course there were natural wines on lists before that.

I was thinking of Rebelle, Wildair, Contra, that thing opening on the LES, Four Horsemen, Racines, Ruffian, Hemlock...those come to mind immediately but there are others. I suppose a few are not exclusively natural but they're all very much in the natural/biodynamic direction.

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