Pizza is an incredibly subjective cuisine. Everyone has their favorite pie, slice, and old school Brooklyn spot firmly entrenched deep inside their psyche, and it takes a lot to mess with that hierarchy. Emily has succeeded in doing just that for us. After a couple trips to Clinton Hill, our pizza power rankings have forever changed.
We love everything about Emily. It’s the kind of restaurant you walk into and immediately know you’re in a place where good things happen. It’s a small space with tons of character. Everyone who works here is lovely, from the bartender, to the servers, to the owner, Emily, who you’ll most certainly meet. And then there’s the glorious, dreamy, crispy, crunchy, heavenly thin-crusted, lightly burnt, honey-kissed yeasty goodness otherwise known as Emily’s pizza.
Emily is not a classic New York pie, nor a Neapolitan. The thin crust pies are cooked in a wood-fired oven, which produces a crisped bottom underneath a thin layer of hot dough. Emily immediately enters the same category of fellow new classics like Roberta’s and Paulie Gee’s, and to be honest, is our personal favorite among the three. The pies here may be a little pricey, and not traditional at all, but holy pepperoni are they good. Of all the “new” pizzas we’ve eaten in New York, The Colony at Emily is our absolute favorite. This spicy, sweet number is a red sauce pie with homemade mozzarella, pepperoni, pickled chilis, and honey. The Emily is another mind-blower, and quite possibly the sweetest pie you’ll ever sink your teeth into. And what does Emily have the other aforementioned spots don’t? The most ridiculous burger you’ll probably eat all year AND a duck ragu pasta that’ll blow your mind. Emily: not just pizza. Oh, it’s so much more.
We understand you probably have plenty of important pizza in your life already and may not want to entertain the idea of new pizza. However, you need to trust us on this one.
There’s a whole section of vegetable and salad things, all of which aren’t fully necessary to include in your order, but all of which are pretty damn good. We especially liked the kale salad (yes! more kale salad!) with dried cherries, pecorino, and a funky thyme vinaigrette.
Whoa. A thick, rich, all kinds of flavorful duck ragu warms some pretty funky star-shaped pasta cups, otherwise known as zucca. You need to be ordering this bowl of happiness. Split it as an appetizer for the table. Again, Emily: NOT JUST PIZZA!
This is not just any burger, this is a very special burger. Served on a warm pretzel bun, the dry-aged beef patty comes with charred onion, melted cheddar, and dripping orange “Emmy sauce,” which tastes like the best buffalo wing sauce ever. Westchester people will understand this: it’s like Candlelight wings, in burger form. Literally one of the best burgers we’ve ever had, and reason enough to boost Emily’s rating higher than all the other “new” pizza spots in town. Wow.
And here it is, our favorite “new” pizza that currently resides in NYC. They take the honey-laced pie on which Roberta’s built an empire one step further, with an unprecedented balance of spicy and sweet. Pickled chiles, spicy pepperoni, a bit of secret Colony sauce (packing some fire), homemade mozzarella, and of course, honey. We’ve died and gone to pizza heaven.
As good as any other vodka pie you’ll eat, with the exception of Rubirosa. Thin crust, crispy bottom, soft, gooey top. Get some.
The namesake pie is the other absolute must-order. You need to like sweetness, because this pizza kind of tastes like dessert. This white pie has pistachios, sottocenere, mozzarella, pistachios, and of course, honey.
In case you hadn’t consumed enough dough yet, Emily’s signature dessert is essentially a s’mores pizza, wrapped up as a calzone and stuffed with marshmallow, chocolate, and graham cracker. It sounds AMAZING, but, was a bit disappointing. Too much dough. Not enough texture. It needs some crunch somewhere.