Donatella's Review: Margherita Pizza at Donatella's

Donatella's Review: Margherita Pizza at Donatella's

Blogging about food is sometimes weird in that I always wonder what my preferences say about me. For example on Slice, they really like Donatella’s. Nick and Adam wrote that, “The pies are thinner, less puffy (but with no less life) and far drier. They will appeal, I think, not only to the purist but to those who did not think they cared for the form.” Strong praise for two dudes that know and eat a lot of pizza. So the problem for me was that I walked away thinking, “It was aight.”

Now I’ve learned that when blogging about a pizza place, try to eat the margherita pie first. The margherita pizza at Donatella’s is simple enough: san marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, and basil. They do the basil almost all in the middle unlike some places that spread it around. The pie is just really straight forward. One thing that’s noticeable right away is that the pie is not as wet as other pizzas of this variety. I guess these pies are of the Neapolitan style, and normally they’re kind of wet in the center. At places like Co and Motorino, you see little bubbles pop up in the pizza. At Donatella’s, you don’t really get that. And I’ve been conditioned to believe that those little bubbles that get burnt? They mean deliciousness! But seriously at Co and Motorino, I find myself really loving the dough. Here, I’m just like “Oh it’s good.” I thought the sauce was well-balanced and really pleasant and the cheese was ok. I don’t know. This pie was good, nice, and it just didn’t blow me away.

Steph got the Hangover Pie. It’s got sausage, bacon, egg, and some other random stuff on it. Yea sorry, terrible food writer, I don’t even remember the details. It was a cheeseless pie that plays to the weekend brunch crowd. I guess for lunch on a Wednesday they’re not running this special. Unless you’re a special breed that has hangovers on Wednesday mornings. It’s ok. I’ve been there too. There’s an alcoholic degenerate in all of us. Don’t deny it! I am NOT the only one! Steph thought this pie was a little too peppery. I thought it needed something to tie the sausage to the dough. It fell off easily. Maybe more egg yolk? I’m not sure.

You all know that I’m a stickler on price but there’s not much to be upset about here. They price their pizza just the same as other Neapolitan pizza parlors in New York. The one thing I would say is that since Donatella’s is in Chelsea and really close to Co… it’s really hard for me to pick Donatella’s over the pizza at Co. Now I understand that maybe some folks would say Donatella’s is a great example of Neapolitan pies or whatever… but to me it’s just good and not great. Of course if price is a big deal, there’s always Totale Pizza but I don’t think Totale competes with the Donatella’s and the Motorinos and the Co’s of the world.

So recently in my readings, I’ve come across two mentions of how a restaurant should do food costs. And both said that food costs should be only 30% of the total cost of the dish. The rest goes towards rent and labor. When I first heard the figure I was dubious but after hearing about it more, I guess it’s a good number to think about. So the next time you’re wondering how much it cost to make that margherita pizza with san marzano tomatoes? If the pie is $14, then we’re looking at $4.20.

Donatella’s184 8th Ave.New York, NY 10011

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