If you know the story behind the Nobel Peace Prize, then you know that the award was created by the Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, at least in part to make up for the fact that he was the guy who came up with the idea for dynamite. Encouraging peaceful endeavors was his way of putting some karmic balance back into the world after putting something that could be used for violence into it.
What does that have to do with this restaurant review? Pizza Beach is our dynamite. This new Upper East Side restaurant is basically an indirect result of the current Instagram food culture that we have so proudly helped create, and now we're here to apologize for it. Not because we regret building massive community around a hashtag called #EEEEEATS - but we're sorry that there have been unintended consequences.
You see, Pizza Beach, a trendy new spot on the Upper East Side, is not good. The food is mediocre at best, the service is spotty, and the place has about twice as many tables as the square footage should comfortably allow. But the style and aesthetic of this restaurant are so perfectly targeted to the food porn generation that the mostly post-college clientele couldn't care less about any of those things. This place is absolutely packed every day with people who are too busy posting a photo to notice.
Now, we are obviously not accountable for the things that come out of Pizza Beach's kitchen, and we are certainly not claiming responsibility for creating the kind of person that values followers over food quality - The Infatuation audience is much more discerning than that. But, much like Sir Nobel, we do feel the need to take action.
That's why we're creating the #PizzaPeacePrize. Take a picture of a pie that actually tastes good, even though it's not pretty, and we'll repost the best one on @infatuation. We aren't going to start telling people to stop Instagramming what they eat, but we can try to put some balance back into the world. One decent pizza at a time.
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Much like Pizza Beach itself, these meatballs are pretty but don't bring much to the table in terms of taste. More sauce please, and more...taste.
Our main problem with the pizza at Pizza Beach is the dough. It's got a strange bitterness to it and not the good kind of bitterness you get from charred crust (you won't find much of that). Also, the sauce. And the cheese. The basil is pretty good though.
Pappardelle With Shortrib Ragu
Our server insisted we order this pasta on one of our visits, and we really wish we hadn't. The noodles were too thick and stuck together, and the ragu lacked flavor. Not worth the $20.
This is basically a copy of the famous Motorino pizza, and a poor one at that. It's not spicy enough.
Roasted Beets & Goat Cheese
If you randomly made me name two things that I absolutely do not want on pizza, it would be beets and goat cheese. Save it for a salad.