Portobello’s Calamari Slice Throws a Knockout Punch
I had been meaning to meet my buddy Dan for lunch for ages by the time we finally sat down together a few days ago. We’ve worked not more than 5 minutes away from each other for about 2 years now and hadn’t managed to grab a bite to eat in that entire time. It was ludicrous. So after a series of texts, it was decided: he’d show me a couple of places in his neighborhood and I’d tell him if he was getting a raw deal by working in west of Broadway Downtown. Dan’s response was to bust out the big guns and take me to Portobello’s Pizza and Sicilian Kitchen.
Located at 83 Murray St. at Greenwich, Portobello’s is owned and operated by Anthony Catanzaro, a member of the training team for current former IBF Light Welterweight Champion, current WBO NABO Light Welterweight Champion Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi. Hence all the boxing gear when you step through the door. And the cheesy title I’ve given this post.
Compared to the tiny facade, the inner dining room is massive and this place manages to fill just about every seat come lunchtime. Slices start at $2.50 and work their way up to $3.75 for the specials. If you’re not feeling the pizza, they’ve got you covered with the hot bar and a variety of Italian dishes on the menu.
There are literally about a dozen kinds of pizza to choose from in this place, so you really can’t go wrong stepping through the door. The day we went for lunch, however, was a special day. Every Wednesday and Friday, Portobello’s slings one of the most unique pies I’ve seen, perhaps even more unique than the Bacon Jalapeno slice at the Grotto (69 New Street). Yes, Portobello’s is home to the Calamari slice.
How can you go wrong with that? Admittedly, for some folks you can go quite, quite wrong with this but Portobello’s does an awesome job of cooking it well. Squid and octopus, in my opinion, are two of the most difficult piece of seafood to make edible and for me. I am really not a calamari guy. But this? This was good. Maybe it was the combination of the sauce and the crust and the cheese, or maybe it was just that someone here really knows how to make some calamari, but it was tasty.
We also grabbed a lasagna slice. No offense to the Grotto, but this one held up way better than theirs. I think it wasn’t bogged down with as much ricotta and the crust had a little more integrity to it. It was really flavorful and rich. Definitely a good choice.
Last but not least, I also got a buffalo chicken slice. Another fine choice. This one had a ton of chicken on top. If you’re hungry, this slice could definitely be the way to go. It was plenty filling.
And the upskirt shot for those of you who are into that kind of thing.
Portobello’s is a sweet spot with lots to choose from, as long as you’re okay with Italian food. The pizza is a little more spendy than at other places, but these are slices you’re not getting many other places. I’d definitely recommend swinging by on a Wednesday or Friday to try and grab a slice of the calamari pie. It’s totally worth it. As long as Dan has this place, I think he’s just fine for lunch.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- Calamari on pizza? Genius!
- I love it when pizzerias get creative with their pizza
- Free delivery everywhere south of Canal St.
- Unless you’re invited to his actual house, this is the only chance you’ll get to eat at the “home” of a boxing champion
THE — (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- Calamari on pizza? Not my cup of tea
- The slices are a little more expensive than I’m used to
- I eat spaghetti every night for dinner and don’t like to have Italian for more than one meal a day
Portobello’s Pizza & Sicilian Kitchen, 83 Murray St. at Greenwich St., 212-766-1195