I'm not sure what exactly they're baking at Chickie Pig's Brick Oven Pizzeria and Restaurant, but I know I wouldn't call it "pizza." Roasted flat bread with salad (or piles of meat) on top? Pita bruschetta? Open-faced sandwiches? Either way, this very new, very orange spot on the Lower East Side is up and running and serving pretty good versions of... whatever it is they're serving.
Last Saturday evening my daughters and I had the place to ourselves and mostly enjoyed a huge meal that hit on much of menu, starting with a perfectly serviceable Sweet Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese salad, which Bo and Co showed little enthusiasm for when I ordered, but couldn't stop eating once they tasted these (supposedly) house-roasted roots which, not surprisingly, went well with the generous dollops of salty, creamy French goat. I was less enchanted, especially with the straight-from-the-can walnuts scattered about the plate instead of the promised pine nuts, but it was fine.
As an entree, Co went the pasta route: specifically, Linguine with Goat Cheese, which also came with lemon, pieces of tomatoes and bits of bacon, all of which sounds summery and refreshing—and, in fact, tasted quite good—but was so drenched in a thick cream sauce that it became all but unfinishable. Then it was on to the "pizza", Bo opting for the Chickie the Greek, for which our chef (name of Marty, btw) roasted a salted, olive-oiled oval of flat bread, then piled on a cold greek salad—artichokes, feta cheese, calamata olives, pepperoncini, sundried tomatoes, onions, anchovies, capers—minus the greens and dressing. That's it. No sauce. No melted cheese. No return to the oven. It wasn't bad, if you like these ingredients (and we do), but, c'mon Chickie Pig people, this dish isn't pizza.
My entree, the Pig Pie, at least had some tomato sauce and a little cheese, but the mountain of meat—ham, sausage and prosciutto—was perplexingly cold. Did Marty just forget to put my pie back into his brick oven?
We didn't have time for dessert, and so couldn't try the Brazilian Cream Flan or the Nutella Banana Split, and I'm not sure we'll be there a "next time" to do so. Chickie Pig's is located on Ludlow Street between Delancey and Rivington. The service was heartfelt but extremely scattered (it was 6:30, we were the only people in the place, and our server couldn't remember our order, nor knew anything about the menu.... though to be fair, she might have been the hostess filling in for a late waitress). As of yesterday, they have no liquor license.