Located on the ground floor of a brownstone in Harlem, Sottocasa is our go-to Neapolitan pizza spot uptown. It’s spacious, with a bar up front, a large room full of wooden tables, and a second, smaller dining room past an area with a blazing pizza oven. The exposed brick walls and gleaming wine bottles make this place nice enough for a low-key date night, while the kids’ drawings hanging around, and chatter between the Italian family that owns this place, make it casual enough for a meal with the folks, or a catch-up with friends over smooth, $12 negroni sbagliatos.
This ideal neighborhood restaurant has some cheese and charcuterie on the menu, and a few crisp, leafy salads in glass bowls, but mostly they just focus on making satisfying red and white pies, all wet in the middle and charred around the edges. (They also have a pasta spot across the street.) We like the Autunno pizza with brussels sprouts and speck, and the Bufalotta with prosciutto and arugula, but you can’t really go wrong. Sottocasa also has gluten-free pizzas and a couple of calzones, a list of yeasty Italian beers, and bottles of wine from $38.
The pies come out fast, and disappear fast, which means that by the time they ask you if you want dessert, your brain might not yet have caught up with your stomach yet, and you might just say yes. But you won’t regret getting that tiramisu, or tartufo, or lemon sorbet, even after your brain finally reminds you that it’s just Tuesday night, and time to go to bed.