The atmosphere is everything, but so is the pizza

"The square pie is going to take a little longer to cook, is that okay?" You'll nod eagerly and consider it a cute formality even to ask. After all, this is the kind of place that demands lingering.

It sits quietly and unassumingly on a residential street, but from the moment you step inside, you'll feel the magic. A properly tiled pizza oven anchors the room and sits behind the bar. There are various kinds of wood, and exposed brick (this is Brooklyn). You won't have to wait long, if at all.

Wine is listed once, with two prices — by the glass, and by the bottle. Your server will ask if you want anything to drink, and then what you like to drink, or what you feel like drinking. And you'll confidently throw out a few adjectives, or maybe you'll hem and haw. They'll know what's in stock and they'll have some ideas. They'll excuse themselves only to return momentarily, three bottles in hand, and you'll try one and then another, and then the third. And you'll say, "I think I like that one."

You'll also have to ask about the antipasti and the salad because they change all the time, and because why keep re-printing menus when you can have a conversation? The salad will likely come dressed with a burnt olive vinaigrette, and that will be a good thing.

And then you'll order pizza. You'll be silly not to do a margherita because it's a thing of beauty. The crust is soft, fluffy, and charred, with a hint of funk from its sourdough starter. The base is tender but not soupy, the sauce tangy with a punch of umami, and the mozzarella milky. The square pie is something different, and after it lands on top of the empty, upside down can of tomatoes in the center of your table you'll bite into a slice and realize it's cheesier, saucier, and blessed with a layered crust that's part-chew, part-crisp. You'll also notice that it's topped with a generous sprinkle of fresh parm and those very good olives. And you'll think: why would I wait for 2+ hours to eat at any of those glorified pizzerias when this place is real?

You'll take your time, maybe order another bottle, or another pie, and then inquire about dessert. And there will be no rush or want to leave until you've finished every last crumb and every last drop.

This is a restaurant that brings me unadulterated joy. What place does that for you? I'd love to hear about it.

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Ops
346 Himrod St, Brooklyn, NY 11237
(718) 386-4009