Monday, April 23, 2012

Pizza and Sangria at Ortine

While we enjoy the fancy restaurants that NYC has to offer, it's just as good to stop by the local pizza joint. This is of course biased by the fact that we live in Brooklyn, with great little pizza joints on every corner. And obviously, we have to try them all to compare.
We have our favorite place, the only restaurant I allow us to return to regularly. But sometimes, we have to try a new place, to see what it is like. Always on the lookout, we spotted a place recently that we felt compelled to try. Ortine is a small place, edging the outskirts of the wave of gentrification. The restaurant embraces the values of the locavore movement in an unimposing space. The service was a bit slow, but the staff was friendly and the space casual, so we felt no pressure to rush our meal when it finally made it to our table. With the low-key decor and classic 50's rock on the radio, Ortine felt like an old-school diner, but with a surprisingly contemporary dedication to local and seasonal ingredients.

Both the wine and food menus were limited, but watching what the tables around us ordered to drink, and the volume of pizza boxes moving through the delivery, we felt confident in the selection. We ordered a carafe of Sangria to go along with an order of Poutin to share, some mushroom lasagne for Tina, and a small anchovy and tapenade pizza for Nate. The mushrooms in both the poutin and lasagne emphasized their dedication to seasonal ingredients, since there aren't many options in New York in early spring, unless you are willing to come up with the newest way to incorporate ramps into your dishes. The anchovy and tapenade really showed Ortine's skill at crafting dishes, as either ingredient can overpower anything on the plate, but the pizza ended up wonderfully balanced: the saltiness of both played off the smokiness of the mozzarella. With the tart and fruity Sangria, made with sake instead of the usual rum, it was an easy meal, not too complicated but well executed. We are looking forward to going back, especially since we hear they have a great brunch.

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