It doesn’t take much time living in New York City to realize that finding your own version of Cheers or Central Perk or Tom’s Restaurant or Bada Bing isn’t as easy as you might have hoped. The bartender friend who always comps your shots, the coffee guy who can always tell when you’re having a rough morning, or even the bodega cashier who’s memorized your drunk order so all you have to do is hand him your credit card and shamefully avoid eye contact - if you’ve achieved any of these situations, congratulations. You’re officially living out your very own New York City sitcom.
Ops, a restaurant serving great pizza in Bushwick, will make you feel like you’re already a regular from the minute you walk in the door. Even if you don’t live in this neighborhood, we think that feeling’s worth traveling for.
The menu is small (it’s a short list, and also weirdly physically tiny), with only one rotating cheese plate, appetizer, and salad - the rest is all pizza. Which is what you’re really here for. The sourdough crust is great, and if you dabble in square pies, their version is excellent. Meals at Ops are basically just bread and cheese, but we never feel the spiraling regret of a food hangover after eating here. Maybe that’s because they get all their ingredients from local farmers. Or maybe we’ve finally built up full bread and cheese immunity.
The wine situation at Ops also adds to the we’re-already-all-friends vibe. There’s no wine list here - instead, they pour different natural wines every night and charge the same price for all of them. Don’t know anything about wine? They’ll let you try stuff until you find one you like. All of which plays into the greater theme at Ops, which is people actually being nice. As in, how people behave in Central Perk, but not so much in real-life NYC.
As for the space, you couldn’t really think up a more ideal setting to put down roots in a restaurant. There’s brick everywhere, a salvaged wood ceiling that’s cool enough that you actually notice it, a long bar, a tile-covered pizza oven that glitters like Rainbow Fish, and thick red curtains that block out everything you don’t want to be thinking about right now - i.e. anything besides pizza and wine.
So while Ops is perfect for making into your new go-to casual hang, it’s equally great for impressing someone without looking like you’re trying too hard. We also saw a 50s-prom-themed bachelorette pizza party here, so you can do that too. Or just try strolling in on a random free night to eat a pizza by yourself at the bar. No shameful avoidance of eye contact required.
You know those kinds of people who have their lives together enough that there are always tasty things hanging out in their fridge? Ops is those people. And their antipasti is a daily-changing plate of fancy vegetable snacks that taste great. More importantly: a side of generously buttered bread for piling them on. The pizzas can take a while to come out, so get at least one of these for the table while you wait for the main event.
A heap of whatever leaves and vegetables are particularly in season, you’ll probably order this for the sole purpose of getting something green on the table. Do what you need to do.
Onion, bacon, tomato, cheese. And a fairly thin (but not super thin), sourdough (but not too sourdough-y) crust. This is a great pizza.
Not sure how they make potato pizza taste light, but this thing basically defies logic. These people know something we don’t know. It also has bitter greens and lots of garlic and is an excellent pie for sharing.
Square pizza makes people feel things. And if your feelings towards it are generally good, then you should get this. The crust is probably twice as thick as their regular pies, and the same goes for the sauce - there’s more of it, and it’s delicious. This is our favorite thing at Ops.