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Spencer Cotton

A 16

Written by
Spencer Cotton

A 16 is a good reminder of a respectable gift-opening strategy: scissors. There are a few different kinds of gift openers. There are those who go Monica Geller-style: gently untying the bow, removing the paper without a rip, and ironing it to save for next year. These are probably the same people who eat pizza with a fork. Then there are the people who tear off the wrapping paper like kids going buckwild on a piñata. When it comes to pizza, these are the people probably face-planting on the plate. Also wrong. Finally, there are the gift-openers who use scissors, to cut the unreasonably adhesive tape off, open, and enjoy.

Those people need to get to A 16, which serves up a side of pizza shears to snip yourself a slice. Even though A16 has been open for ten years, the pizza is still a gift that keeps on giving.

A16 also has the elusive quality of making every meal feel like a special occasion. Quick bite before a movie? Think again. We’ll be gazing lovingly at the bruschetta, back at our date, and back at the bruschetta while the “Mortdecai” trailer tortures everyone who made it to the theater. The open kitchen doles out Neapolitan pizzas and quality pastas, and the starters and small plates are equally solid. One note: keep an eye on the prices - it’s easy to wind up dropping $50 on starters.

Here’s a little stocking stuffer to leave you with: the chef is named Rocky. Let’s celebrate his good works by listening to Rocky theme song, running up and down the Lyon St. steps, and eating mountains of pizza. You pick the order in which those things occur. Maybe simultaneously. And in the spirit of the holidays, thank you, pizza baby Jesus for A 16. We’ll make some extra room in the manger for you.

Food Rundown


The sea salt and super-high quality olive oil make this completely addictive. It somehow feels light even though you are housing cheese.


This could be a meal on it’s own - sausage spread, fried egg and mushrooms.

Tuna Conserva

Solid, if a little light on the tuna. The croutons are bomb.

Arugula Salad

Fried almonds in a salad? Yes please. Nice way to start off.

Roasted Cauliflower

Not the best of the sides - a little under-roasted and pretty basic. Skip it.


Oh yeah. Super tender, slightly charred, and very sharable.


Superb sauce on a thick spaghetti cooked at just the right level of al dente. The house-made ricotta is bonkers. It’s usually a cheese we forget about. Not when A16 is involved.


A16 makes a mean margherita, the true mark of pizza proficiency. Nail that and we trust you. The crust is the soft but crispy, oven-blackened stuff of dreams.


Smoked mozzarella seriously elevates the flavor. Sometimes when we’re feeling a little crazy we’ll even add an egg.


Spicy time. Calabrian chilis are generously scattered across the A16 menu and put to best effect here.


Some of the better balls we’ve found, but they’re reserved for Mondays only. New reason for Mondays to be a special occasion.

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