I've been meaning to comment on Nate Appleman and Keith McNally's new pizza bar, Pulino's, since I first went about a month ago and kept putting it off...
But now that Sam Sifton has his review out this week, this seems like a good news opportunity to come back to it.
I pretty much agree with Sifton. (Which doesn't happen all that often.)
While Sifton probably thinks giving Pulino's one star is a great complement, I think it's a slight insult. It puts the food at the kiddie table, which no serious chef wants. (Which is, of course, the problem pizza places have been having since chefs started taking pizza seriously.)
For the record, I think there's no reason pizza shouldn't be allowed two or three stars. But, actually, one star sounds about right for Pulino's...
I went with a couple of friends and we had a smattering of appetizers (all good) -- but the most important question is: How was the pizza?
Not the best I've ever eaten (not by a long shot) -- but we had a pizza with meatballs and pickled chilies which was pretty darn good. I don't think I enjoyed the food as much as Sifton did, but everything we had was pretty tasty. The waitstaff was attentive. And this is probably the cheapest jewel in McNally's crown.
The minuses: It is still pretty pricey. And it's a bit too much of a scene for a wet blanket such as myself. But overall I enjoyed myself.