As a New Yorker, you might scoff at the idea of yet another pizza joint popping up in our mozzarella-covered city. Pedestrians can’t walk a city block without passing one of a million different foldable slices, but new-comer Emmy Squared isn’t about Brooklyn Style, or Brick Oven, or any East Coast iteration. Paying homage to the Motor City, Pizza Loves Emily owners Matt and Emily Hyland have posted up in Williamsburg, ready to re-invent the NYC pizza scene one boxy, elevated pie at a time.
It should be mentioned that I visited during Emmy Squared’s opening weekend, so my party didn’t get to check out the yet-to-be-finished downstairs “Burger Lounge” – an assumed home-run because Pizza Loves Emily humbly offers one of the best burgers in NYC. This visit was all pizza, baby.
And some olives. And fried cheese curds. And a few beers. P.S. – shout out to the guys at Full Circle Bar right down the street. This is a prime “dive” lined with Skee Ball machines that’s perfect for killing time while you wait for bae (Emmy Squared) to text.
But you’re here for a verdict on Emmy Squared and its blasphemous pizza shape, which I can confirm is a delectable, Sicilian-inspired bombshell. We’re talking prime toppings, bubbling cheeses and what could be the best crust in NYC. Yes. I said it.
I’m a minimal surface-area crust kind of guy, which is what makes Emmy Squared’s pie such a delight. It’s no Chicago deep dish, but the crust rises just enough to push items like pepperoni, chorizo, and pineapple towards the middle so there’s enough handle to safely grab. You eat inward, reaching the crispy exterior, and just as you think there’s nothing left but bready nothingness, Emmy Squared hits you with their pièce de résistance – that crust. *knees grow weak*
This is not a crust you haplessly discard, no different from the cardboard pizza box sitting next to your garbage. Emmy’s perfectly crispy, dense-yet-fluffy crust has cheese baked directly into it – draped over the sides – which develops flavor in every bite. The dough itself is fluffy yet firm throughout – supportive for toppings yet pleasant to chomp on – but Emmy Squared’s signature crust packs a wholly different culinary experience than the previous five or so bites of the slice you’re holding. Detroit will no longer be known for automobiles, Kid Rock and a winless football season – only this glorious crust from the Pizza Gods.
Getting to the flavor combinations, three of us ordered a pie each for maximum sharability (two hungry growing boys, and my not-so-gluttonous girlfriend). They’re cut into six squares, which ended up being almost a perfect amount – but less hedonistic foodies should be fine with two in such a situation.
Here’s how things went:
Margarita (sauce, basil, burrata): A slight tang to the sauce, fresh basil and slices of burrata that’s elevated by Emmy Squared’s crust. All flavors work in synchrony, and make this a more-than-enjoyable classic.
Lou-Wow (sauce, mozzarella, spicy pineapple, ham): This was actually the favorite of the night, putting a Hawaiian twist on a Detroit favorite. The sweet juices from plump, roasted pineapples marry with the acidic tomato sauce in a victorious eruption of flavor, ended by the slightest hint of spice. Try not to hula happily after this one.
Hatchback (mozzarella, Zia hatch chiles, chorizo, crema): Not bad by any means, but the chorizo was overtaken by spice and crema a bit too much here. A good slice, but a bit plainer-tasting than the ingredients suggest. After each bite, we all looked around, waiting for one final note to wash over the spicy crema, but there’s a final kick that’s missing here. Still good, still crispily crusted, but just missing that show-stopping quality we were expecting.
Aside from an array of equally-tantalizing pizza selections (LaBrunier and The Emmy will be devoured next time), Emmy Squared also offers a few appetizers, like little nuggets of love that are Crispy Cheddar Curds (with Emmy sauce) and a nicely assorted olive bowl for a salty kick to pair with any of their curated craft beers. If you’re feeling especially carb-happy, opt for the Wild Fries smothered in Salsa Pico, crema and bonito, because carbs don’t count on the weekend (Shhhhhh).
Or maybe you’re feeling sandwich happy? In that case, Emmy Squared is smashing an array of fillers between their famous pretzel buns. Try a Spicy Meatball (provolone, crispy onions) or a Spicy Chicken (Salsa Pico, cornichon, radish, bok choy, ranch) – we won’t tattle. Or, go for their play on the “Muffaletta,” the Emmaletta (mortadella, pepperoni, provolone, olive salad, Max-made sesame bun), which I’m sure makes up for the lack of pretzel bun.
Pizza purists, get over your New York snobbery and give Emmy Squared a chance. Sauce is allowed to go on top of cheese, dammit! If it makes you feel better, wait until the subterranean burger lounge is finished in the coming weeks. Then you can tell fellow dough-tossers that you tried Emmy’s pizza only because you were there already. But forget about “whys” and “hows” – Emmy Squared is primed to become not only a Brooklyn pizza institute, but a New York City favorite. Pizza should be loved in all shapes and sizes, and Emmy Squared‘s thick, fluffy masterpiece is as delicious as it is confident – the only time it’s truly hip to be square.