>Pizza by La Grolla: 403 Amsterdam Ave. New York, NY

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Back in February, my cousin, aunt, Grandma and I went out for a G’ma-birthday-lunch on the Upper West Side. We were stuffed afterward and practically rolled out of the restaurant. My cousin and I headed over to the bus stop across the street to go home to the East Side, and we caught a whiff of the most delicious smelling pizza. Even though we were both completely full, being the dedicated, hard-working foodies that we are, we actually debated going in for a slice to see if the smell was indicative of the taste. We decided instead to come back another time when we had the necessary appetite. Today was the day, and worth the wait. I was lucky enough to find some coupons on http://www.localbooking.com, and bought $30 worth for only $15, what a great deal! We had so much fun sampling 4 different types of pizza:  a pepperoni slice (the one basic slice we tried…standard triangle type but very good), a carciofo slice (whole wheat crust, garlic, herbs, artichokes, ricotta and mozzarella), a Forestiera slice (rosemary, ham, mushrooms, mozzarella, ricotta) and a pesto/tomato slice, and an awesome Rughetta salad: Arugula, pear, pine nuts and Gorgonzola. Everything was super fresh, seasoned perfectly (ie: the perfect amount of rosemary, just enough to add flavor, but not enough to overpower the other ingredients) and clearly made with love. The crust was chewy and crunchy and totally delicious. I don’t usually eat the crust once the toppings are all gone, but I pretty much cleaned my plate with these. The pizza was served on cute little wooden boards, and though the space only allows for 2 little tables, that’s really all we needed to be comfortable and happy. Dan, the owner, was nice as could be and definitely someone who has passion for his craft. We chatted briefly about his food blog- which he has promised to send me a link to (hint hint if you are reading this Dan!) I look forward to reading the local recommendations from someone whose palette I definitely respect! If you’re in the area and hungry, definitely stop in for a slice, you’ll thank me for it. Here’s hoping they open a shop on the East Side soon!

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