157 2nd Avenue(between 9th St & 10th St)
New York, New York 10003212-375-9555http://www.plumnyc.com/
“Give me a word, any word, and I’ll show you that the root of that word is Greek”, said thefather in the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” Plum Pizzeria & Bar’s owners Alex Alexopoulos and Adonis Nikoloulis may be from Athens, Greece, but will effortlessly charm you into thinking Italian cuisine originated in their country. Don’t worry… they won’t attempt to convince you that Windex fixes everything! My fellow diners and I were sat, waiting with bated breath for our tasting menu experience to begin. To whet our appetite, Alex himself brought out thickly cut homemade mozzarella, with tomato and a delicious, nutty pesto. So fresh and tasty! I considered obtaining a jar of this pesto to eat with a spoon at home… it was that good.
Next on the list of culinary creations from this clean-cut modern restaurant was the Penne alla Vodka. Plum’s version is made with bacon bits, adding an interesting elemental twist and texture to this classic dish. The Rigatoni alla Bolognese was a keeper, and being the carnivore that I am, I appreciated the hearty sauce that melded perfectly with the al dente rigatoni. I couldn’t help but wipe the plate clean with a piece of bread, suddenly feeling very Italian! I had to remind myself that I was a human and not a puppy; reluctantly deciding it was unacceptable for me to lick my plate clean in public no matter how good the dish was.
Alex was very descriptive throughout the night, ready, willing and eager to answer all the questions I had about Plum’s food. My enthusiasm transformed me into a modern day Sally from “When Harry Met Sally”! Even after fifteen minutes of my questions, Alex was still smiling and bringing steaming pizzas to our table. Sausage and Onion, as well as Pepperoni, Mushrooms and Pepper pizzas were spread before us. All the meats are house-cured at Plum. Unlike so many pizzerias, yes even here in New York City, Plum’s pizza was not soggy, nor were the pepperoni slices greasy or oily. Instead, as Alex proudly demonstrated, a slice of Plum’s pie when raised up in the air does not bend causing all its toppings drop off. Instead, Plum’s crust was crisp and solid, holding all of its components intact like a conductor in a great orchestra. After polishing off the cheesey pies, we talked about Athens, and how similar Italian and Greek cuisines really are. They’re both Mediterranean, olive oil based cuisines, made with love.
The atmosphere at Plum is comfortably relaxed and authentic. As Italian as this pizzeria is, there are still bits of Greek infusion apparent in every part of the restaurant, from the interesting shaped olive oil holders to the tables themselves. It’s nice to see the owner’s culture incorporated into the restaurant, showing pride in their heritage. Another impressive quality of Plum Pizzeria and Bar is the 21 different wines offered by the glass, carefully designed to complement their Italian cuisine.
When we were first handed our tasting menus, I noticed that dessert for the night was Chocolate Mousse Cake. My eyes are always larger than my stomach, so I like to take in the entire menu upon sitting down. Just planning ahead! Chocolate Mousse cake is not usually my cup of tea, as it’s usually mushy, spongy and typically not something I salivate over. Plum decided to change all that for me with one slice. This generous hunk of chocolate “cake”, filled with a rum infused white chocolate center definitely did not look to be mushy or spongy. The layers of white chocolate, chocolate fudge and chocolate cake base, all laced with rum, was an absolute foodgasm. So dense and rich, I finished every morsel!
Plum’s tomatoes aren’t the only secret ingredient to why this eatery is a must stop when in NYC. Don’t forget the delectably doughy pizzas, creamy vodka sauce and house-cured meats, as well as many other great Italian-styled choices. Finally, Plum’s true secret ingredient lies in the genuine charm and wit of the owners. Ask to meet Alex and Adonis…they will keep you entertained for hours. This Manhattan pizzeria & pasta bar is sure to be putting their own twist on Italian favorites for many more years to come.