In deciding where to go out for dinner, I rarely chose a new find unless it is the middle of the week, or its early in the evening. When a friend suggested Burrata in Eastchester last night, I balked. While I have been dying to try this very new pizza eatery, I have also been dreading the buzz. When I am hungry, I want to eat. No waiting, no reservations, no fuss. Well, she prodded, and I relented. Off we went with our two hungry 13 year old girls in tow, at 7pm on a busy Friday night. In retrospect, I have two words: great decision.
Yes, we waited for 30 minutes for a table. But, along with a bunch of other excited folks, it was enough time to take in the ambiance, the smells, and the hospitality of the owner and waitstaff. Familiar faces came in, and some walked out with take out boxes in hand. There were the young singles, and many a family out for Friday night pizza. We finally landed a bar height table right next to the door, where we had just watched a family of six devour some of the most interesting pies we had ever seen.
Burrata is in the location of the old Martinis and Chocolates, but the decor is very different from the old place. Done in muted tones of putty-gray and white, it is clean and urban, yet warm and inviting. The bar is still in the same place on the right, but the center of the restaurant is dominated by one of the most impressive wood-fired ovens I have ever encountered. Huge, rounded and done in golden mosaic tiles…you can see the fire from the street side, and the smell of slightly charred pizza dough is delightful.
We sat down and were presented with a fairly simple menu. You can get some appetizers, salads, and pizza. No fancy entrees, no upscale pub food. Just dough…and some incredible toppings. You won’t find a pepperoni slice here, no sir. There was just enough variety, and since the pizzas are personal-sized, we were able to try a few. Chosing to forego appetizers such as the namesake Burrata (a fresh mozzarella with a soft, creamy center), we ordered a salad of mixed field greens, which came lightly dressed, and accompanied only by a few slices of red onion and leaves of flat-leaf parsley. We ordered two of them, although one would have probably been enough to share. Being a true Italian girl, I reserved some for the side to eat along with my pizza. When it came to ordering the pies, we chose a Margherita with the picky kids in mind – simple tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil. We also decided to try the Burrata – made with the cheese earlier described, wild mushrooms, garlic, chili and parmigiano reggiano cheese. As a third, we chose the Prosciutto, a pie topped with mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, and arugula as a bed for the cured Prosciutto ham. I was dying to also order something called the Parigi (Gruyere cheese, cognac onions, pancetta and fresh thyme), but I did not want to push it.
The pies came and it got very quiet at our table for a minute or so, until the “mmmms” starting coming. Even the kids were enjoying something other than their normal “slice” at the local pizza counter. We made the rounds through all the pies, and wouldn’t you know, I just HAD to have that Parigi? We were pretty full, but we ordered it anyway, and boy was I happy we did. That was my favorite of the night…evoking the smokiness of the pancetta, and the nuttiness of the Gruyere.
Of course, there was a teensy bit of room in our stomachs for dessert, and thank goodness! All desserts are made on premises…and we had the variety. Molten chocolate cake served in a ramekin with vanilla ice cream, a fresher-than-fresh cannoli with smooth cream, and a light and sublime panna cotta, garnished with blood oranges. No complaints on any one of them!
Now, one can add as many flavorful and high quality ingredient to a pizza as possible, but it is nothing without good dough. So…oh, the dough! Right away, I could tell there was something different about that dough…it had a certain je ne sais quoi about it. As explained by the owner and pizza master, Chas Anderson, he imports most of his ingredients from Italy, including the flour. “The flour is what sets us apart from other pizza eateries around here” said Anderson. “It creates a greater elasticity in the dough, and hence, more flavor”. We have to agree. In addition to the different flavor of the dough, the crust was charred, yet chewy, but not chewy in a tough sense. So hard to describe, but suffice to say I have never had dough like that before, and I know that I will want it again. “We also import our tomatoes, our olive oil…even our oven came from Italy”, said Anderson.
Anderson, a young, vibrant and warm host, is a well seasoned chef. Having studied at the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan, he traveled to Naples in Italy to learn the art of pizza making. What he has brought back to the States, and to Eastchester, is something special.
Aside from a few tiny kinks that will work out, Burrata is a large cut above your average pizza joint. Yes, it is a bit pricier than most. But the quality ingredients, and the love of the art of pizza with which each pie is made is worth it. Check out this little gem located at 425 White Plains Road, in Eastchester, and we promise you won’t regret it. Even if you do have to wait a bit for a table. For the full menu, visit the website for Burrata, HERE.