Wine and cheese have always been a delicious duo. And there are plenty of bars throughout New York City showcasing this twosome. So, it's funny to think that pizza, an excellent culinary use of cheese, usually gets paired up with beer. People rarely talk about going to grab some pizza and wine as it's almost always pizza and beer. But, at the end of the day, pizza is defined by the cheese, and frankly, I prefer wine with my cheese! In fact, I'm not quite sure why a wine and pizza bar is not a more common occurrence.
The owners of Pasita seemed to have figured this one out several years ago - setting up one of the coziest wine bars in the west village. Not only do they venture out and feature the rare pizza-wine duo, but they also add an unusual Venezuelan flare to the menu - and it works. The idea is to enjoy some small plates, warm up with some wine, and round it all out with a brick oven pizza. And, I have to admit, they have it mastered. I have gone to Pasita for just a glass of wine, for just a few small plates, or for an entire meal, lingering between food and wine.
While pizza and wine are the real highlights here, you shouldn't overlook the traditional Venezuelan small plates. I always enjoy a selection of their house marinated olives and then have a hard time deciding between the yuca fries with creamy avocado dipping sauce or the fried green plantains with cilantro, green pepper salsa. The yuca are heartier, but both are full of Latin flavors. And while both dishes seem like an odd precursor to pizza, they provide a nice unexpected break from the Italian cuisine. For a more traditional route, I recommend all of their salads - even the most basic of greens with roasted garlic and red wine vinaigrette. No matter what you start with, you should have plenty of room for their delicate brick oven pizzas. The crust is thin and crispy and they use all of my favorite vegetarian and carnivore toppings offering both traditional and Venezuelan pies (if you can believe they exist). I recommend the La Joya - prosciutto, mozzarella, and arugula drizzled with extra virgin olive oil as well as the Champinon - roasted mushrooms, artichoke hearts, caramelized onion, mozzarella, and ricotta salata topped with extra virgin olive oil. And for the ultimate ethnic pie that basically sums up the restaurant, go for the Ropa Vieja - spiced beef, caramelized onion, manchego and red pepper.
Who knew there was such a thing as Venezuelan pizza?! Unique, Pasita is. This cozy spot gives new meaning to cheese and wine. And as nights get colder, good luck leaving - this is definitely a place to linger.
47 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10014
FOOD RATING (Out of 5):