Honey Yay Yay: Emily

02/26/2014 4:00 AM |

919 Fulton Street, Clinton Hill

At this new pizzeria helmed by husband-and-wife team Matthew and Emily Hyland, the eponymous pie sounds like a cross between a truffled white pizza and baklava. Turns out this is a perfect match. The chewy, charred crust is topped with creamy mozzarella; pungent, buttery taleggio; and aromatic truffle sottocenere, a cow’s milk cheese laced with slivers of black truffle. The sottocenere sets off a bomb of earthy flavor that you just can’t get from a slosh of run-of-the-mill truffle oil, and it perfectly balances the Mediterranean dessert combo of sticky-sweet honey and crunchy pistachios. A drizzle of honey also elevates the Colony, a pizza topped with jammy tomato sauce, stringy mozzarella, crisped and curled pepperoni, and spicy pickled chilis. Both flavor combinations were so unexpected and delicious that we couldn’t pick a favorite. We could live on this pizza.

When we stopped by for a weekend pizza brunch, the four tables beside us were pushed together to accommodate eight young parents and a slew of children quietly perched on laps, cuddled to shoulders, or squished together on the bench that lines the wall of this slender space. The ample staff didn’t seem flustered, delivered our pies quickly, and smiled knowingly as they deliberately brought out our own 3-year-old’s classic pizza first. The basic combo of sauce, mozzarella and basil hits all the right marks and is reminiscent of the fine traditional pies at Sottocasa on Atlantic Avenue, where Emily’s pizzaiolo met his pizza-making mentor, Luca Arrigoi. At dinnertime, the expanded menu caters to a more grown-up clientele, promising non-pizza extras like Brussels sprouts with apples, Worcestershire, and chilis; crispy pig ears with winter greens in a mustard vinaigrette; spaghetti with ‘nduja (spicy, smoky spreadable pork sausage), uni and pistachios; and cinnamon-sugared pizza churros with dulce de leche for dessert.

The short list of $10 cocktails includes a vodka-spiked lavender lemonade, and the booze-free version of the home-brewed lemonade is flawlessly tart and floral for a mere $3.50. Wines by the glass range from $7 to $9, tap beers cost $6, and the sweet, oaky Rodenbach Sour makes a fine pizza pairing at $7 per bottle. Once a month, the restaurant hosts pizza-making workshops. The next one, scheduled for March 4, involves a yoga class with Emily, who’s an instructor when she isn’t passing out pizzas. The pizza-yoga combo may sound a little too Brooklyn-precious, but we also once thought the same thing about putting honey on pizza.