Review: Great pizza at Gruppo

If you are a fan of first-rate thin crust pizza with well proportioned cheese, sauce, and toppings, it is hard to find a much better selection than Gruppo.

I’m a perfectionist, don’t judge me. Normally my writing process involves countless edits and drafts, and I rarely feel comfortable publishing a review until I feel it is absolutely perfect. When I returned home from this particular restaurant, however, I started writing this piece but certain words eluded me. That was two months ago, and although I saved it on that fateful day, the following review has been sitting on my hard drive ever since. I will readily admit that I made a few corrections this morning, but today I am starting on the path to, at the very least, not judge myself as much.


Pizza: I would like to think it is the all American food. However, as you and I both know, it is certainly not. I have loved pizza since the age of seven, and as far as this site goes let’s say

from day one

(see the above link for my first ever review which was for Lucali’s, one of the best pizza establishments in New York City.) No matter what your favorite variety is, from thin crust to deep dish and from margarita to Hawaiian, America prides itself on its astounding variety of pizza thicknesses and toppings. If you are a fan of first-rate thin crust pizza with well proportioned cheese, sauce, and toppings, it is hard to find a much better selection than Gruppo:

186 Avenue B (between 11th and 12th street)
4.5 stars out of 5 stars

The Food:

I was blown away by Gruppo from the start: through my usual intensive research, I was surprised to discover that this restaurant was ranked with a Zagat rating of 26 and 4 stars on yelp from almost 200 people. The general masses seemed to recommend the pizza known as shroom town: topped with three kinds of mushrooms, truffle oil, and mozzarella cheese. After walking through the extremely narrow restaurant to find my booth, I waited patiently for my pie with anticipation. My waiter was quite helpful, and since he also thought this was the best pie I could not help but to feel a sense of excitement about this food adventure. The restaurant itself felt unremarkable: I had the sense that the front resembled a typical New York “pizza joint” with slices displayed in a case, and the chairs and music were quite average. Therefore, it was up to the food to make or break this experience.
When the shroom town pizza arrived, all I could think of was jackpot: the crust was thin like a cracker but very crisp at the same time. Meanwhile, it held up the toppings quite well and the combination of flavors was simply outstanding. It was remarkably easy to pick up each slice since the construction and proportion of toppings to crust were in such incredible alignment. By the way, I tasted some hints of tangy tomato sauce despite the fact that the menu did not mention this; but I was happy nevertheless.
I discovered that Gruppo’s pizza was composed of several intangible elements which made it greater than the sum of its parts. My description might not serve it justice, but sometimes there is much more to the value of a pizza than just cheese, sauce, crust, and toppings. I have tried quite a few pies in my time and this was simply one of the best: definitely a top five caliber nominee. Bottom line: I recommend taking a trip to the east village and enjoy yourself!


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