Two of my co-workers hail from Vermont and have been ranting and raving about American Flatbread ever since construction started on the TriBeCa location. It’s a pizza joint with a major Vermont twist; the quintessential locally sourced, rustic cooking that the state is known for.
On one of our days off, I met the two experts at the newly opened location for lunch. There is no signage on the outside of the building, located right near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel. I attempted to use Google Maps as my guide, until my friend called to direct me after seeing me wander with confusion down the street.
Once inside, I understood why this location was selected. It’s a gorgeous open, large space, which is pretty unique to most New York City restaurants. A wood-fire Earthen oven sits in the center of the space, filling the room with warmth and the seductive smell of smokey bread. A large bar area fills the right side of the room, with the casual dining room on the left.
We were seated quickly, since the place was relatively empty on a Wednesday afternoon. The attentive and friendly waiter explained the menu in detail, since it was my first time, rattling off a list of the special pies of the day. Before we could make a decision on which one of the many flatbreads, we each ordered a glass of Shed Mountain Ale, a locally brewed Vermont beer. My co-worker told us a great story about the brewery and his excitement to find this beer in New York.
We toasted to a great day, as we selected our flatbreads of choice. We decided to order two of the small sizes, with the notion we could always order more if necessary. After much debate, we selected the Medicine Wheel, which was a more traditional cheese version, and the Punctuated Equilibrium, featuring kalmata olives, rosemary, red peppers and more.
The food came out rather quickly, straight from the oven with the cheese still bubbling on top of the pie. At first glance, I understood the hype.
The super thin, slightly charred and smokey crust was incredible. As someone who normally neglects the edges of the pie, I easily devoured the entire thing. Punctuated Equilibrium quickly became my favorite. The combination of flavors made the flatbread mediterranean in taste, with the salty olives, sweet combination of mozzarella and goat cheese, and the spiciness of rosemary. It had everything.
The Medicine Wheel was far more traditional, but shouldn’t be discounted. Three different cheeses, homemade organic tomato sauce and fresh herbs make this dish above and beyond your average plain slice.
The portioning ended up being perfect for the three of us, despite the waiters recommendation that a third pie would be necessary.
I loved our selection, and understand the difference between the flatbread and your average New York City Pizza. So much care and energy is put into perfecting each Flatbread, starting with the addictive, crispy, homemade crust to the organic toppings on each pie.
American Flatbread is a great addition to the New York casual dining scene. It’s more special then a dive pizza joint and excels far above chains like CPK which lack success in the city. People need to know to start looking for this new Vermont transport, because once they find it, they’ll want to come back. Word to the manager, put a sign outside, mark your territory, and tell the people of TriBeCa that you’re here to stay.
American Flatbread – 205 Hudson Street – New York, NY
Type: Organic, Italian
Perfect For: Casual Meal, Quick Bite, Farm to Table
Reservations: Available via OpenTable
Favorite Dishes: Punctuated Equilibrium Flatbread