RESTAURANT REVIEW: PULINOS

The best lunch ever! 
In my 2012 resolutions to dine some place new each time I get a chance..I find that when needed, sometimes my foodie brain kicks in and I remember the last place I wanted to eat....before I sit down at one of my repeat offenses. Literally almost everyone likes pizza(and if you dont shame on you)  so Im proud of myself that I actually remembered Pulinos recently when my mom and I were out and about in the Soho/Bowery neighborhood here in NYC. Pulinos was one of those places that I recited, "I cant forget to eat here when Im back in this area", so when we needed a late lunch, we turned and walked right in. I knew my mom would like Pulinos, which is known for there fresh hand made pizzas, but I was skeptical because Im not a fan of thin crust pizza. I have rules for thin crust pizza. It MUST come out of the oven and onto my plate. No sitting behind a sneeze guard in a pizza shop. Hot oven followed by my mouth..thats it. I personally, need to bite down into a doughy, thick, chewy pizza crust, but yet an still, I knew Pulinos would change my mind....and they did! To touch on decor for a second, I love Pulinos rustic mis-match design...some wooden tables...some not...some brown chairs..some not...slightly open kitchen to the right side...wood bar to the left...large bread baskets....magazines....and tons of liquor on the walls! The feel is cozy, with a sense of relaxation....almost like Pulinos is whispering "trust us, your meal is gonna be delicious". Our initial thoughts about how our meal would end was slightly thrown off, just by how the start of our meal went. Maybe because it was a late lunch, or something throughout the lunch rush but....we did not get bread sent to our table (the table behind us was served bread), the menu was slightly hard to navigate(the server didnt really explain anything) and if not asked, we would have never known about non-alcoholic beverages (I just so happen to see lemonade and soda on yet another table) so this threw us off a little, although I had a glass of lambrusco and mother stuck with water.  Luckily our lunch was so amazing that all of this is forgettable. Heres what we dined on after the jump.....



~Funghi Pizza- mushrooms, tomato, mozzarella, grana 
~Lunch Special- 1/2 salad + 1/2 Pizza 
Salad: Pear Salad w/ Stracchino Crouton - mixed greens with pears, white balsamic 
Pizza: Cavolo Nero- black kale, butternut squash, walnut pesto, smoked mozzarella 

I rarely to never get a lunch special on a menu...just doesn't phase my life...so ordering the pizza and salad special was a big step for me. This salad, which was very simple....was absolutely delicious....so delicious that after we ate the first one, we ordered ANOTHER one.  The mixed greens were not your typical everyday spring mix..these lettuce, some separate some bunched together were a different blend..crisp, fresh and flavorful. My chef brain went into over drive as I tried to distinguish the white balsamic vinaigrette which was sweet, and so enjoyable on the thick cut pears and evenly dressed throughout the salad. The stracchino crouton was a great addition, since stracchino cheese is creamy and mild in flavor. It isn't mozzarella and Im so glad that it wasn't. I had some extra cracked black pepper added and Im being so serious right now, this salad is the best salad that I have eaten in a year.  Now to the pizzas where my thin crust worries were laid to rest as I bit into my cavolo nero. All these toppings I love to eat separately (LOVE kale) so this pizza, including the thin crust was nothing but delicious with the walnut pesto adding a slight tangy end. My moms pizza had mushrooms in every bite! A mix of sautéed seasoned mushrooms covered every inch of her pizza and these weren't small bites. Big chunks and slices of meaty tender mushrooms, fresh cheese, and simmered crushed tomato sauce, was just the object of our desire at the table. How our lunch started wasn't even relevant as we polished off our second salad and ate all of our pizzas.  Straight to the point, Pulinos was DELICIOUS! Every bite was fresh and held its own amongst all that was going on. I didn't get to see the other menus at the restaurant, but when I viewed them online, Ive come to the conclusion that I NEED to eat breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner here... 


PULINO'S 
282 Bowery 
New York, N.Y. 10012
212.226.1966
http://www.pulinosny.com/index.php


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