Lawman will occasionally call into question my Italian heritage. Why? Because I distain arugula. The mere prospect of encountering a bitter leaf in my mixed green salad is enough to put me on edge. But recently my feelings on arugula have begun to mellow and that's all because of pizza...
I can attribute my first enjoyment of arugula to none other than Brooklyn's own Paulie Gee. Before he opened his award winning pizza joint in Brooklyn he rigorously practiced his craft and I was fortunate enough to be invited to a pizza tasting dinner at his home. He prepared what would become the Greenpointer--Fior di Latte, Baby Arugula, Olive Oil, Fresh Lemon Juice, Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, and Proscuitto. And I liked it. A lot. The squirt of lemon brightened up the whole pie and the saltiness of the cheese with the earthiness of the olive oil and the bite of the argula made for pizza perfection.
I wish I could get to Paulie Gee's more often, but sometimes it's hard to schlep the little guy out to Greenpoint, especially if the G train isn't running. Recently I enjoyed arugula on Bar Toto's grilled proscuitto pizza. This one has a red sauce. The crust, while thin, is still chewy. Top that with proscuitto, and hello, delicious. I actually found myself snagging stray arugula pieces.
411 11th St at 6th Ave,
Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 768-4698 bartoto.com
60 Greenpoint Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11222
*Both Paulie Gee's and Bar Toto get high marks for child friendly joints--Bar Toto was the first restaurant that Little B ever went to, he was around 2 weeks old and slept through the whole meal. And on our last visit to Paulie Gee's the little guy got a special paper tiger cup with a plastic sippy lid. Win.