198 Allen Street
NY, NY 10002
The creation of Pala Pizza ended the argument between feisty Brooklynite, Edena, and the homegrown Italian, Gigio. She had dug her heels in making proud claims that New York style pizza was the best, and he passionately believed that only Italy produced “real” pizza. They combined both of their palates and ended up with an authentic Italian pizza in New York that is both healthy and delicious.
If the name Gigio alone doesn’t instill enough confidence in you that this can be done, knowing that he received a culinary education at the famed Gambero Rosso along with a history of working with several Italian pizza masters might put you at ease. You see, Gigio is passionate about dough. He explains with his thick accent, “Pizza is all about the dough- it’s the foundation. Toppings are the personalized way of eating the dough and our toppings are made fresh daily.”
While doing research on flours to come up with the perfect tasting yet healthy pizza crust, Gigio learned all about gluten-free flours. The two business partners knew they eventually wanted to make gluten-free pizza and planned ahead by allowing space for two extra brick lined electric (for the health benefits) ovens which are used exclusively for gluten-free foods. Gigio’s gluten-free pizza dough recipe includes fava bean, tapioca, garbanzo, potato, and rice flours from Bob’s Red Mill. Either Gigio or his assistant will mix up some dough by hand for each customer. Fridays and Saturdays they will have a bunch made and ready to go, but Sunday-Thursday please call them before 6pm to put your request for gluten-free dough in. Every pizza on their menu can be made gluten-free and they also have several vegan options.
Pala Pizza offers date-worthy atmosphere to go along with your gluten-free pizza. Fresh oregano imported from Sicily graces every table where you can pinch some off to sprinkle on your pizza!
There are many reasons, besides gorgeous presentation, that make Pala Pizza an exceptional place to dine. Whether you are gluten-free or not you will appreciate that they use only natural ingredients and nothing ever comes out of a can. They offer 3 types of pecorino and over ten of their cheeses are imported from Italy.The grass fed water buffalo mozzarella is from Vermont, the only place in the U.S. that makes it, and it is made fresh Monday and served at Pala that same week. Oh, and not to be overlooked, Gigio’s pesto is delicious and just happens to be dairy-free! As if this isn’t enough, there is a great wine selection and they now serve gluten-free bread along with your salad!
This weekend they will start serving pizza by the slice. The price of a 1 ft. gluten-free basic pizza (sauce and cheese) starts at $16. Regular glutenous pizzas range from $12-$22. Remember, one pizza feeds two people.
Pala is the Italian word for the wooden peel that pizza is traditionally served on in Rome. (The shape of the pizza also follows Roman tradition.) The owners of Pala Pizza order their palas from a craftsman in Italy. They are awaiting a new shipment of them that will be specially marked and used only for the gluten-free pizzas. In the meantime, the regular palas are wrapped in tin when used to serve gluten-free pizza in order to avoid any cross contamination. For now gluten-free pizzas are cooked in the main ovens until enough gluten-free orders start coming in for it to be practical to use the separate ovens downstairs. If you absolutely have to have your pizza cooked in the special ovens let them know. Otherwise, great care is taken to avoid cross-contamination in the main ovens.
You might find it interesting to know the details behind the making of Pala’s regular non-gluten-free dough. In order to get the desired texture and taste they mix nine different flours all of which are 100% organic , unbleached, and unbromelated. Surprisingly they include some gluten-free flours (oat, rice, soy and amaranth) in order to add vitamins, riboflavin, B12, and protein. This along with a lot of water creates a healthier pizza that is easier to digest. The dough is made the old fashioned way: three days to rise with a little yeast. This creates the chewy and crunchy qualities sought after in a crust.
Have I talked you into trying out Pala Pizza yet? I knew it wouldn’t be hard. You can save your euros by getting a taste of Rome at Pala Pizza!
*Regarding delivery: the radius is from 14th to Canal and W. B’dway to Ave. C. Pala uses electric pizza boxes so that your pizza will never arrive cold. Delivery can be negotiated for other areas with a minimum order of $50. Remember Pala Pizza for your corporate lunches and parties!