Flatiron Lunch: There is a Reason Bravo Pizza Isn’t Called Bravo Pasta
Every Friday we go south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.
While browsing the comments section of a very old FL post, I noticed a reader recommended the pasta bar in the back of Bravo Pizza. It was not an easy feat to walk by stuffed pizzas, Chicago and NY style pizzas, Grandma slices. But I was on a mission.
I was disappointed when I saw it was a generic looking pasta bar, but was hopeful that the reader recommendation and good looking pizza upfront would equal above average pasta.
I also hoped I could add the right combo of ingredients to the pasta to ensure a great dish. So I ordered a large penne with bolognese sauce and broccoli and red onion. As my dish was being heated up, I realized I also needed cheese so I added ricotta.
Unfortunately, I fell into the classic trap that happens at this type of bar…my $7.95 meal (with bread and small salad) was suddenly over $12 with $1 or $2 for each additional topping. Beyond the cost that got away from me, the bigger problem was the general lack of flavor and soggy pasta.
Thankfully, I had a feeling on my way out that the pasta wasn’t going to cut it, so I ordered a slice of what another customer called the signature pie. It looked like what other pizzerias call margarita. Thank goodness I made that decision, because it was a great slice. Worth getting again. And I learned that Bravo Pizza offers a free drink with the purchase of two slices of pizza.
THE + (What people who like this place will say)
- Pizza. It is about the Pizza.
- If you like soggy pasta, you can get a huge portion of it.
- In an increasingly fancy neighborhood, this basic pizza spot is appreciated.
THE – (What people who don’t like this place will say)
- The pasta bar is ill-conceived and needs an update.
- And ugh, the salad bar is also terrible.
- Bravo Pizza benefits unfairly from passing tourists.
Bravo Pizza, 146 Fifth Avenue btwn 19th and 20th Streets, (212) 523-0300