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Bruno (CLOSED)

Restaurants, Pizza East Village
3 out of 5 stars
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczMargherita at Bruno
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczAgnolotti at Bruno
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczLocal squid at Bruno
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczBruno
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczBruno

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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The first thing that hits you is the light—Bruno might be the brightest restaurant in New York. As clean and stark-white as a Nordic design store, the sliver of a space has bulbs embedded into ledges along its brick walls, glowing rods over a stretch of boxy two-tops and under-cabinet lights beaming down on a 20-stool open counter. It’s not an ideal setting for scarfing saucy pizza.

But these pies aren’t of the messy, marinara-down-your-chin ilk. The wood-fired, hyperseasonal rounds from Dave Gulino and Justin Slojkowski—the Roberta’s alums behind last year’s surprise-hit tasting-menu pop-up inside Box Kite Coffee—are almost dainty. The tomatoes are organic, the crust is built with upstate wheat berries milled in the basement, and each pizza arrives adorned with jewel-toned herbs.

Those New American tinkerings are more suited to nontraditional pies—a smoky-sweet swath of Marlow country ham with roasted peaches ($17), fistfuls of summer greens with carrot-top pesto and briny bottarga ($18)—than the flaccid Margherita ($15), on which purple basil and twee lovage can’t detract from the soupiness of its fermented-tomato sauce or the chewiness of its crust.

Chefly ambitions are abundant in small plates, like a refreshing dish of cucumber curls and sweet melon dabbed with tapioca-freckled buttermilk ($12), but it’s hard to take such lofty efforts seriously when the basics—say, the perfectly simple trio of dough, sauce and cheese—aren’t being prudently executed. Dim the zeal and fine-tune the za instead.

By: Christina Izzo



Address: 204 E 13th St
New York
Cross street: between Second and Third Aves
Transport: Subway: L to Third Ave
Price: Average main course: $24. MC, V
Opening hours: Daily 11:30am–midnight
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