Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Review: Rubirosa

Rubirosa comes straight out of the borough of Staten Island, where chef and co-owner Angelo "A.J." Pappalardo mastered his pizza making craft at the tender age of twelve in his dad's legendary (and still going strong) pizzeria Joe and Pat's.  For those of us not willing to take the ferry to indulge in their famous pizza, Rubirosa will be sure to satisfy your crazing.  Pappalardo, who cooked at Esca and Circo, has teamed up with chef buddy Al Di Meglio (who also worked at Circo and the short-lived Olana) to launch Rubirosa.  Located on Mulberry Street in Little Italy, which has degenerated into a tourist destination, populated by less than stellar restaurants, was a perfect fit as the neighborhood is in dire need of a high quality and authentic Italian restaurant.
In a city where the competition for the best pizza is fierce, Rubirosa delivers top-notch competition to the standby favorites from Di Fara’s in Brooklyn to Motorino in the East Village.  Good-quality fresh mozzarella covers bright-red sauces of slightly sweet crushed tomatoes on an ultrathin crust that is crunchy at the edges, but gives way to a crisp yet pliant middle.
Bring in a large party to enjoy a family style menu that will stuff even the hungriest guy in your crew.  Of the Bruschetta options ($2.50 each), the meatball, with plenty of parmigiano, is like a dainty two-bite meatball sub.  The Stuffed Artichoke ($11) arrives piping hot and is filled with buttery crumbs.  The Calamari Fritti ($10) is crispy without being greasy with a slightly spicy kick.  When it comes to the pasta dishes, there are varieties for every taste.   For meat lovers who enjoy a hearty red sauce, make sure to order the Pappardelle ($24) with sausage ragu and pecorino.  In the mood for seafood?  Try the Tagliatelle ($26) overflowing with clams, mussels, shrimp, and scallops.  If you’d like some green with your carbs, you’ll want the Ricotta Ravioli ($24) decorated with zucchini, yellow squash, and parmigiano.  Make sure to save room for the pizzas!  The Classic ($19) is a must-try 50 year old family recipe.  Order the Vodka ($20) for a creamy vodka sauce with fresh mozzarella.  The Sausage ($21) with broccoli rabe, fresh mozzarella, and pecorino is a wonderfully flavorful.  With your stomach so full it hurts, you still won’t be able to pass up the Zeppoles, served with a warm chocolate dipping sauce.  These are seriously fluffy white balls of heaven.
With Joe and Pat's-style pizza perfection and al dente house-made pastas, Rubirosa could easily be located in your Nonna’s kitchen.  Overall this is a restaurant that any Italian grandmother would be happy to call her own, and an authentic restaurant any New Yorker should be thrilled to have in the heart of Little Italy.

Check out the menu here

235 Mulberry Street

Where is your favorite pizza in NYC? xo


  1. omg those zeppole look RIDICULOUS! I am a total lazarra's fan in midtown, but, honestly...i need to take a trip downtown to try this pizza!

  2. I love a good pizza place. The only place i have loved so far in little italy is Lombardis. But i will def give this place a try. :-)

  3. They have delicious pizza served with just the right toppings.


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