(Note: this also works with tacos. But we'll talk about tacos some other time.)
It can't just be any pizza; the slice place down the block won't have the desired effect. No, it must be a thin crust pie topped with fresh ingredients and cooked very quickly in a wood-fired oven. You know, the kind they serve at Milkflower.
The latest addition to Windsor Garden — the mythical, perfectly square micro-neighborhood invented by some local wiseacres — Milkflower is another establishment that seems plucked from the Borough That Shall Not Be Named. It's all exposed brick and reclaimed (or reclaimed-looking) wood, with banquettes upholstered in burlap coffee sacks. The Friday crowd was a mix of date-night couples and fourtops of friends.
Dr. Science and I started with the toast plate: four crostini with a variety of creative vegetable toppings. This dish alone would make us come back. The spring onion, fava bean, and grated egg in particular tasted like the month of May on bread. I wasn't as enamored of the ramp pudding with broccoli rabe, but those aren't generally among my favorite flavors.
|A toast(s) to you|
We continued with the arugula salad, which was pleasingly bitter and bright with its fennel, thinly sliced mushrooms, small chunks of grapefruit, toasted walnuts, and lemon vinaigrette. A few scattered basil leaves added a nice surprise.
|Lemony arugula salad|
And then there was the pizza. We probably should have ordered The Queen — your standard margherita — so we could establish a baseline, but I got distracted by the Brussels sprout pie, having recently discovered that when cooked properly sprouts are not, in fact, disgusting. The crust was chewy and light with just the right amount of salt and char. The Brussels sprout leaves, however, were slightly tough, and the poached egg on top didn't contribute as much as I'd expected. The verdict: a good, but not transcendent, pie.
Dessert came in the form of three delicious scoops from Il Laboratorio del Gelato: black sesame, white fig, and fior di latte (in English, milkflower).
|Il Laboratorio's finest|
The service was friendly and attentive; our water glasses were never empty. The total for two appetizers, a pizza, two bottled craft beers, and dessert came to a reasonable $65 including tax and tip.
Best of all, we took two slices home for leftovers. Because whatever the next day might bring, we knew there would be pizza.
34-12 31st Ave.