REVIEW: We go to Brooklyn Pizza in Rugby
Brooklyn Pizza promises to bring Rugbeians the best its geographic namesake can offer - the Advertiser visited the restaurant last night to find out whether Brooklyn's trendiness managed to cross the Atlantic.
The Elliott's Field restaurant opens at 6pm tonight (July 27) but the Advertiser was invited to a VIP night to see if Elliott's Field really has gained a slice of New York's famed pizza.
This is the third site for Brooklyn Pizza, with the two others being in Northampton and Wellingborough. One of our sister papers previously gave Northampton's branch a favourable review - so we had high expectations.
When we walked in we were greeted by friendly staff and a perfume of garlic and tomato sauce - a great first impression.
The decor is a fusion of slicked-back, chrome-plated Americana which is frayed at the edges with touches of hip and modern personality and flair.
Red leather seats, a black and white tiled floor and beautiful chrome jukeboxes on the tables seem right at home with bare light bulbs, hand-drawn chalk pictures of menu items by the counter and, perhaps the highlight, a striking hand-painted mural of the Brooklyn Bridge at night that spans most of the length of the restaurant.
The atmosphere is far from kitsch or tacky. This isn't a cardboard cut-out attempt at retro chic, it has a personality of its own and I'm sure it will appeal to young and old alike.
It is clear the central focus of the menu is the range of pizzas and the four Brooklyn Brewery beers.
Those with conventional taste in pizzas will be catered for, while those looking to take a risk will find what they're looking for.
We opted for a 'safe' option, the Â£10.50 smoked balsamic, with sun dried tomato, spinach, balsamic vinegar, mozzarella and scamorza.
Fortified with some deliciously floral Brooklyn lager, we decided to go for the Â£12 Brooklyn, which had been created in collaboration with a chef from the Brooklyn Brewery. It was topped with bechamel sauce , prawns and mozzarella.
A mix-up in taking our order meant we only received the Brooklyn pizza initially. The waiter was apologetic and assured us the smoked balsamic would be out shortly.
The Brooklyn was not to our taste. The topping of bechamel sauce and prawns felt like they were battling the beautifully cooked base. The prawns were a little watery, which didn't improve things.
That said, it's an interesting idea and the execution was fine on the whole. If you're feeling brave, give it a try, but in the end it just wasn't for us.
The smoked balsamic pizza arrived fairly quickly after the waiter corrected the order. The base, like the Brooklyn pizza, was thin and nicely browned.
The tomato sauce had a rich and satisfying flavour which combined with the sundried tomatoes and the mozzarella to create a magnificently tasty experience.
That said, after the error with the order, the second pizza had clearly been rushed, and it showed. It didn't fill the plate to the extent the pizzas we could see being served to other diners did - and some of the toppings hadn't been distributed evenly.
This was a shame, because even in its rushed form it was delicious.
Despite the issues, staff were friendly and helpful at all times - with the manager telling us he welcomed the constructive criticism.
Let's be fair - this was the restaurant's first night and they, like any other business, had some minor teething problems.
This is a beautifully decorated place with friendly staff. Our experience was, as mentioned, a little rickety in places, but the food shows great promise.
Brooklyn Pizza is a welcome addition to Rugby's food scene. Give them a chance, but stick with the conventional items on the menu if you're not sure.