it’s hard to believe that a place with a hard core hipster following has become our family’s favorite friday night pizza joint, but roberta’s has somehow become everyone’s top choice. for the past few months, we four have headed out to bushwick many a friday for a great meal. the initial draw was the pizza. for at least a year, j had tolerated k’s insistence on two boots (she loved that pizza dough that they gave out) but finally he had had enough (i had opted out a long time ago as i just couldn’t bear it), and so we had still agreed that we would try to have pizza every friday night as a special end to the week. after we had gotten sick of la villa too (which was our 2nd closest option), we decied it was time to move the family further afield.
and fortunately, k was game. when we finally checked out roberta’s this spring we were all thrilled. first off, the vibe is perfect for us. although the exterior looks like a concrete warehouse amid lots of industrial wasteland, the interior is warm, the decor is low key and comfy with plenty of room for families (at least before 7). the service has also been great even though we don’t sport a single tattoo among us. all the waiters, and the guys and girls manning the pizza oven have been so friendly and welcoming it has made us want to keep coming back. and we do. roberta’s also has a great backyard area, complete with a small greenhouse, an abandoned vintage mercedes, a small organic rooftop garden funded in part by alice waters, a radio studio for heritage radio network, and other projects in the works like a bread oven and maybe even goats and a bee hive.
as for the pizza’s, they are pretty good with a thin crust usually barely singed from the wood oven. k and j are quite happy with theirs. k of course only gets a margherita, and j will be more adventuresome. the one pictured above was a semi-hawaiian (ugh!) pie with pineapple, ham and jalapeno called the da kine which he loved. j’s also been happy with the r.p.s. (mozzarella, tomato, roasted red pepper and soppressata) and the specken wolf (speck, mushrooms, oregano, onions and mozzarella). and while i think the pizza is fine, i am not as big a fan and still have my other favorites (like franny’s, motorino, di fara and maybe even saraghina).
my obsession at roberta’s is the fried chicken which is truly excellent. and i would come here anytime just for that. each time i have had the chicken, it comes out of the kitchen piping hot and fresh. the meat is succulent and juicy, and the crust is not greasy at all but is super crunchy with a little bit of spice. the sides are also great: a smattering of bright pink pickled coleslaw and the loveliest pork flavored beans. s has become so addicted that each time we tell this toddler we are going for pizza he wants to know when he gets his chicken bones.
in addition to the chicken, roberta’s has definitely been evolving its other dishes. i’ve tried the octupus (not so great, but then again i’m not an octopus expert) and the whipped lardo served with bread (hard to not like pure fat), and they always have something new on the menu. with a dedication to the local, some of their other offerings have included mackerel, pickled pig’s tongue, lamb ragu pappardele, berkshire pork chops and veal sweetbreads. roberta’s also has a decent wine and beer selection and some tasty desserts like the chocolate hazelnut pudding with raw nuts. we’re particularly fond of the franziskaner hefe-weisen. and did i forget to say how incredibly affordable roberta’s is. yes, just one more reason to make this our weekly outing. roberta’s, 261 moore street between white and bogart streets, brooklyn, new york, 718.417.1118.