Lunch’er Dan Reports: Pizza Rustica’s Frittate is Full of Salty Goodness

We haven’t been so great about covering the East side of Midtown lately, so we put out a call for new contributors a few weeks ago.  Luckily a ton of lunchers in Midtown East stepped up to the challenge, and you should notice us upping our eastside game in the come weeks.  To give you a little taste of what’s in store, here’s a report from Lunch’er Dan about a great Italian egg sandwich on 2nd Ave. 

Most pizza places feature dishes beyond the pies, and they almost always have a standard cast of hot heroes: the chicken parm, meatball, eggplant parm, and the rest. Sometimes you might even find peppers and eggs. They’ve got it at Pizza Rustica (2nd Ave. between 44th and 43th), but they also have a whole section of frittate (which the menu describes as omelettes on a roll), including potato and onion, smoked mozzarella, and spinach, tomato, and goat cheese. Being a fan of all things involving egg, cheese, and bread, I had to try one. And I was willing to walk one avenue outside of the ML boundaries to do it…

After much thought, I settled on the smoked mozzarella, only to find out they were out of smoked mozzarella. No bother, I went for the fancier-sounding spinach, tomato, and goat cheese (one of my favorite cheeses).

Like most Italian heroes, this is no small sandwich. It’s literally bursting with egg. One half could probably satisfy a normal eater (but I ate the whole thing). My first bite, which was nearly all egg, tasted… salty. Really salty. Seriously, if you’re not a fan of salt bagels, you’ll probably want to skip this sandwich. Luckily, I’m a salt bagel fanatic, and as I got further into the sandwich and got an even ratio of egg to bread, it got much better. On their own, the eggs are a salt explosion, but the bread tempers that almost perfectly. And that bread is something, too. A crusty, flaky exterior yields to a soft, chewy interior. I’m almost certain it was freshly baked, and it had just a hint of yeasty flavor.

The eggs themselves were spotted with spinach, which was the dominant flavor. I couldn’t see any goat cheese, so I have to assume it was mixed in with the egg. If the goat cheese was left in chunks, it might have been perfect, but as it was, it was overpowered by salt. Tomatoes seemed to be missing from my hero, perhaps because I asked for the “spinach and goat cheese”, assuming they’d put tomato on it because the menu said so. Oh well, they probably would have been mealy winter tomatoes anyway.

This is not a subtly flavored sandwich, but it is a tasty sandwich. It definitely veers towards being too salty (in a way that I can still feel on my lips), but when you hit that sweet-spot bite with the right ratio of egg to bread, it’s spot on. And at $6.50, it’s a pretty good bargain too.

Pizza Rustica, 817 2nd Ave. (btw 43+44th) 212-697-8848


  • Do they actually sell the Italian specialty pizza rustica?

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    No, I didn’t see it on the menu. They have a pizza called the ‘rustica pizza’ that has smoked mozzarella and Italian meats. I wanted to try it but it wasn’t available when I went in.

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