Adrienne's Pizza Bar
You don't really need much of a culinary payoff to enjoy a trip to the odd and charming Stone Street in Lower Manhattan. As my intrepid daughters and I discovered one recent Friday evening, even in the pouring rain this semi-hidden spot seems so non-New York (but not in a bad, Manhattan Mall kind of way) that it feels like you're on an adventure.
That said, it definitely doesn't hurt if a few good slices of pizza are waiting for you once you get there, in this case courtesy of the lively and delightfully satisfying Adrienne's Pizza Bar.
Stone Street is very much an al fresco scene, and, as the rain had scared away all but the most dedicated drinkers, the three of us landed one of the roomy, if dimly lit, chandeliered booths by the window. And one more note before the food: the staff couldn't have been more friendly and professional, in general and throughout our meal, but also specifically when Co soaked our settings with a major spill. Much appreciated.
Anyway. We started with the Cinque Fegile, a bushy pile of mixed greens with generous slathers of creamy blue cheese (there was even enough to spread on our bread), nicely dressed with a simple balsamic vinaigrette. Nothing fancy, to be sure, but well executed nonetheless.
Then came the pizza course, for which we chose the "old-fashioned" rectangle pie for which Adrienne's is most known. Now, ten large pieces is a little ridiculous for the three of us to expect to finish, but we figured we had to go with the restaurant's strongest hand. And, yes, this is good, even great, pizza: crispy crust, cheese beautifully burnt, nice balance between the core ingredients. And even though we definitely overindulged on the toppings—half kalamata olives and sausage; half broccoli and mushroom... though each item was fresh and tasty, the pie in no way needed such an onslaught of flavor—we still managed to eat, and thoroughly enjoy, about two-thirds of the thing.
For dessert—a requirement after such a salty meal—we ordered a slice of Nutella Chocolate Cake, which was sweet and wonderfully gooey and took us about seven seconds to finish.
Adrienne's Pizza Bar is located on Stone Street, between William Street and Coenties Alley. It gets crowded with Financial Distict types on sunny weekday lunch hours and warm evenings, but was very pleasant in the rain and, I imagine, would also be less manic on the weekends.