Marta: Roman style thin-crust, wood fire oven pizzas

marta washington - funghi pizza - white truffle shaving

Dear Food Diary:
Danny Meyer’s trendy new spot at the Martha Washington Hotel offers rustic, Roman style, thin-crust, wood fire oven pizzas. Choices vary between red sauce and non with a variety of toppings.

marta washington
High ceilings, ample space and an open kitchen. Counter seating offer the best views of the action.

marta washington - plates
Marta is casual, friendly, with great service. A good spot for a date or group dinner.

 

marta washington - rabbit meatballs
Polpettine di Coniglio – Rabbit Meatballs with Black Olives and Ricotta
Good flavors and leaner than the usual meatball but not any less moist. The creamy ricotta was a gentle, milky touch.

 

marta washington - fiori di zucca pizza
Fiori di Zucca – Mozzarella, Zucchini Flowers, Anchovy
I adored the mild, sweet, paper thin slices of zucchini and flowers contrasting salty bites of anchovy. With fresh mozzarella. It’s superb.

marta washington - fiori di zucca pizza 2
I’ve always been a red sauce pizza kind of gal, but Marta proved me wrong. This was so balanced and unadulterated.

The thin, cracker like exterior of the crust was completed in the wood fire oven. Underneath, there’s a toothsome, chewier layer. Soft enough to the bite, but strong enough to hold the topping combinations.

 

marta washington - funghi pizza
Funghi – Fontina, Hen of the Woods, Chanterelles, Red Onion, Thyme
All the earthy, aromatic mushrooms in one spot. Interrupted marvelously by strips of red onion and the dry slighty minty/citrusy flavors of thyme. As if all that umami wasn’t enough, I had one more request:

WHITE TRUFFLE SEASON!
Before going, I saw a white truffle filled funghi pizza on Instagram by @kludt and I was obsessed! (this sort of late night drooling on my phone happens way too often). Anyways, when we arrived, it wasn’t on the menu. But I was determined to find out how I could sink my teeth into that heart stopping truffle dream I saw (I even took a screen shot of it). Our friendly waiter made me hold my breath and came back with the good news “truffle season came early this year and they received a young shipment – shaved over my funghi pizza for $40. Ohhh yes! 

marta washington - white truffle shaving
Chef Nick Anderer came over with the edible gold and his great smile. A shower of white truffle landed on our pie. I wanted to yell out a la P.Diddy style “Make that b#$&* rain”… but I didn’t want to give StalkerHubby a heart attack.

marta washington - funghi pizza - white truffle
The result was a fungus pizza with superpowers. The original, sans white truffle version was nothing to complain about, but this brought it up a few level.

Some might call it excessive mushroom on mushroom action, but I was overjoyed and having my “moment”, you know the ones where everything around is blurred out?  It was just me and my magnificent slice. Earthy, robust and a faint reminder of the wet woods (I know this one sounds odd, but it happens to be a very seductive scent).

For the purists, they are now shaving the white truffles on plain white pizzas. Enjoyed them before the season is over. As for me, I’m looking forward to more white truffle asap.

 

marta washington - ice cream panino
Ice Cream Panino – Salted Chocolate Biscotto, Pistachios, Mascarpone Gelato
Our finale had a sweet and salty play. With crunch from the cookie and pistachios. The biscotto came slightly warm to contrast the cold, creamy gelato sandwiched in between. Perfect way to end the evening.

If you are only into very saucy, red sauce pizzas loaded with extra toppings (which I also love), Marta isn’t for you. But if you like a thin, crackle crust with subtle flavors, then give it a try.  Bring a date or friends, have some wine and stay for a while.

Their main entrees looked pretty good, I have my tummy set on the short ribs.

P.S. Chubby’s Rating: chubby rating 4

martamanhattan.com

29 East 29th Street
212.689.1900
Marta on Urbanspoon