Are Piazza Seventeen’s Square Slices Better Than The Norm?

There are times when you want a greasy New York-style slice and others when something more refined sounds good. Since we are lacking in fancy, affordable Neopolitan-style spots in the general downtown area, I decided to go check out the newish Piazza Seventeen on Cleveland Place (at Lafayette), purveyor of square Roman slices. When they first opened the gimmick was that you could buy slices of pizza and pay by the pound so I was curious as to how much pizza I could get for my $10 budget. My dreams were dashed when I stepped inside the small shop, heeding the call of the “Eat Pizza Here!” sign out front. 

When I got there I discovered they’d done away with the by-the-pound system and were selling not only square slices, but “regular” slices.

I shunned the latter and ordered up two of the rectangular slices to go: one potato rosemary ($3.25) and one marinara ($3.25) because it looked so pretty in its display case. The man behind the counter heated them in the tiniest pizza oven I’ve ever seen (within the cleanest slice shop I’ve ever been in) and I had them in my hand a couple of minutes later.

The marinara was my favorite of the two, although it’s probably personal preference over actual lacking in the potato slice. There was plenty of chunky tomato sauce to get stuck in my teeth, a sprinkling of cheese and a couple of fresh basil leaves on a not-too-thin, not-too-thick crust.

I think after tasting that delicious tomato sauce, it was what I was missing on the potato slice that had only trace amounts under the slices of starch and sprigs of rosemary with a browned layer of cheese on top. The crust on this one was a bit thicker, and because I got a corner piece I really noticed how crispy it was at the edges. If you’re not a fan of olive oil, this one was heavy on it so be warned.

This is a place I’d definitely go back to if I worked in the area since there aren’t exactly a ton of pizza places nearby (especially since the original Ray’s closed on Prince St.). In the meantime, I’ll have to get my by-the-pound fix at a dodgy Chinese buffet.

Piazza Seventeen, 17 Cleveland Place (at Lafayette), (212) 334-6534


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