Pioneering Bushwick pizzeria Roberta's is every bit as electric as it was in 2008, when owners Chris Parachini, Brandon Hoy, and chef Carlo Mirarchi opened this hippie-ster culinary compound with no gas, no heat, and no hot water. These days the place frequently commands two-plus hours of patient toe-tapping from skinny-jean-wearing yeast freaks. Delivery and takeout operations now exist to smooth the passage of time, but you should take your ass outside for a beer in Roberta's backyard, a magical place where gardens grow, craned-in shipping containers hide flourishing internet radio stations, and rooftop beehives foster buzzy NIMBYs who get aggressive with the gentrifying locals. Once seated, pizza puns abound, like the “Millennium Falco,” pizzaiolo Anthony Falco's namesake pie topped with tomato, Parmesan, pork sausage, onions, basil, and chile. Roberta's is about so much more than its excellent Neapolitan-on-acid experiments, though. Mirarchi fills the rest of his casual menu with expressive New American plates that celebrate seasonal produce in innovative ways. Such experimentation also fuels outgrowth Blanca, a progressive twelve-seat tasting counter where the chef and his team obsessively execute twenty-plus-course menus of quizzical plates like agnolotti with plankton and pine-nut sauce. Here, as at Roberta's, the vibe couldn't be more relaxed, with crackly vinyl tunes and pleated leather seating. The food at both places, though, demands reverential attention.
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