Rubirosa Ristorante is a gem of a restaurant in Nolita. Only a short distance up Mulberry Street from Little Italy, it's worth walking the few extra blocks if you're in the mood for authentic Italian American food. It's a family run business with pastas made on site and a thin crust pizza recipe dating back 51 years.
I arrived a little before dinner time so seating choices were in my favor. The smell of cappuccino permeated the air and the vibe was quite inviting. The hostess greeted me with a friendly smile and seated me right away, although it did take the waiter at least 10 minutes more. A small bar and bistro tables lined the walls up front and a dining area out back seated larger parties. The menu was small, but impressive.
When the waiter finally did come over, he brought me a carafe of cold water and lemon. I was thirsty, so it hit the spot. I decided on the Insalata Rubirosa, with tomato, mozzarella, parmigiano, and toasted bread. And, instead of opting for a homemade pasta dish as I usually do, I ordered two different pizza selections, the Pizza Vodka and Pizza Fresca. The salad came out in a humongous white ceramic bowl. Obviously the portion size didn't disappoint me, but neither did the salad. The tomatoes were fresh and sweet, and the melt in your mouth mozzarella worked well together with the toasted bread.
As far as the pizza goes, well, we all know that New York City is the home of thin crusted pizza, but this pizza crust was really thin. I mean really, really, really thin. In fact, so thin, it was almost cracker like. I was a little skeptical at first and honestly a bit surprised, but after I tasted it, I was a believer. Dried oregano, crushed red pepper, and grated parmigiano cheese accompanied the pies. And I especially liked the Pizza Fresca which had a delicious nutty flavor to it.
Overall, I left happy and satisfied in more ways then one. First, the food was quite good. Second, the skinny crust relieved me of my guilt for ordering two pizzas instead of one. And lastly, I didn't feel the need to hit the treadmill for an hour the next day. This was definitely a first.