Nizza | NYC

Nizza in NYC is an interesting cross between hip modern Italian and a classic Italian pizzeria. The atmosphere is nothing special but the people watching is fantastic. I thought Walmart was in first place for people watching with no close secondary. If you thought that also, then you haven’t been to the heart of Hell’s Kitchen where Nizza resides. Aside from that, it is a great and unique gluten free Italian spot that can safely serve our kind.

Food (7.8)

Chickpea anything has become all the rage in food these days. I see chickpea balls, chickpea bread, chickpea shampoo, literally everything. I’m not going to lie either, it took me a while to come around to the taste of it. Now that I’ve acquired the taste; I still can’t say I’m in love with it but I don’t mind it either. I like knowing I get some sort of added health benefit so it feels less guilty. Anyway, after eating at Nizza you would think they invented all the uses for chickpeas. Their bread and pizza is basically just crushed up chickpeas with some extra gf ingredients to hold it together.

Appetizer

The app we got was the gluten free burrata. This was one of the best tasting burrata’s I’ve ever had. The presentation was phenomenal as the burrata sat atop a huge yellow tomato slice that was slathered in a vinaigrette and pesto sauce. The pesto was freshly made and added such a good flavor punch. All of this was on top their gluten free bread which by itself, wasn’t that great, but with this was outstanding. This is a must for anyone visiting.

Entree

This is where their chickpea game kind of falls flat, literally and figuratively. I got their quattro formaggi which was very interesting tasting but still good. Honestly, I think their pizzas are all about perspective. They label their gf pizza crust as pancakes and not pizza crust. If you look at your pizza as more of an interesting flatbread then it is really great. If you look at like a traditional pizza, your expectations will leave you a little disappointed. I fell in the middle, as my boring self typically does. It does have a very interesting flavor but is a little soggy and kind of crumbly, not what you want in any pizza crust or flatbread. They also didn’t even cut my “pizza” which I found odd. This wasn’t a safety precaution either since they use separate kitchen space and utensils for GF food, as far as I know. Could they not afford to spare for a GF pizza cutter? Did the waiter forget or get lazy? It was probably the latter. Either way, not a big deal just weird for a restaurant that is one letter away from pizza.

Service (7.0)

The kitchen does all of the magic regarding gluten free eating. This is a big part of my service scores. Separate kitchen space, utensils and they are well trained. I knew this going into it based on my research. The reason it got a 7 and not higher is because our server was non-responsive to any gluten free info requests. I couldn’t tell if that was his style or if hearing gluten free triggered a quiet auto-response on how to handle it since they are so well trained? The runner gave me the regular bread and my girlfriend the gluten free bread and said nothing. I had to ask and make sure they got it right and he quickly switched our plates upon realizing his mistake. Other then that, I was completely fine.

Menu Options/Honesty (10.0)

This place has a lot of gluten free menu options that you can feel confident in eating. There wasn’t anything I noticed on the menu that required deep frying so not sure if they have, or need, a separate fryer. That is typically where menu dishonesty occurs.

Did I Feel Sick (NO)

No problems here whatsoever. I felt great after eating everything. They have great cooking procedures as far as I can tell (and feel).

Overall (7.9)

I wanted to give this place a higher score, I really did. If they worked on perfecting that chickpea pizza crust a little bit and forced their servers to actually communicate with us more on gluten free prep in their kitchen, then the score would definitely be higher. Maybe this was a one time instance. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt but the score has to reflect my experience. Overall, this place has a ton of potential and a ton of gluten free options and I will definitely return and try other things like their pasta. The burrata was incredible so that can’t be the only amazing dish.