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Unregular Pizza
Photograph: Courtesy of Unregular Pizza

You can barter just about anything for some pizza at this new shop in Union Square

Unregular Pizza used to operate out of the owner's apartment during the pandemic.

By
Anna Rahmanan
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Just a few months ago, we spotlighted the creative culinary work of one Gabriele Lamonaca, a 30-year-old, Italian-born Harlem resident that dished out delicious pizzas from his apartment for a year in exchange for other homemade food and drink goods.

Now, Lamonaca has turned his very successful barter endeavor into a brick-and-mortar shop in Union Square. Unregular Pizza, at 135 Fourth Avenue, is officially run by Lamonaca in partnership with Salvatore Gagliardo, a pizza and pastry chef, and is sure to delight all your culinary senses.

Every day at 4pm, the staff will set up one trade and notify customers of its happening through a bell. Tomorrow, the owner is expected to lead a barter with the first ever customer that took a chance in the system back when it was operating from Lamonaca's own abode.. 

"Extrapolating from an ancient tradition which springs from necessity, this pizzeria will be the first shop in NYC (and possibly the world) to offer one barter a day in exchange for any food or drink creation New Yorkers feel like bartering," reads the official press release announcing the opening.

In addition to the daily trade, customers will get to actually buy some pizza the old-fashioned way. The highlight of the menu, which features both single slices and full Roman-style, square pies, is the destination's specialty: the burrapizza, which boasts an entire burrata on one square slice of your choosing.

"Regular" pizzas are also prominent. Try the bufalona (cherry tomato confit, bufala, basil pesto and tomato sauce), the unmushroom (mixed mushrooms, mozzarella and cacio and pepe sauce), the delicatissima (cherry tomato confit, mozzarella, pancetta and red wine reduction sauce) and the unvegan (cherry tomato confit, asparagus tips, asparagus cream and tomato sauce), among others. All the pies are made with 72-hour leavened dough. 

You can (and should) also order a focaccia and the single dessert-menu item on offer: the pistacchio tiramisu. One more thing: you can basically add burrata to anything for $5. 

In terms of decor, expect a walk down a '90s-inspired memory lane—albeit with some creative flair. An entire wall of the space, in fact, is dedicated to the non-edible barters that Lamonaca led in the past year (those include guitar lessons and hotel stays, just in case you were wondering). 

Basically, expect a gastronomical experience that will also entertain you in other ways. Talk about "only in New York" moments.

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