Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Out of the oven at Artichoke

During an early visit to Artichoke, I had the privilege to have co-owner Francis Garcia make me one of his special dishes that is not on the menu, a broccoli rabe sandwich. They had just opened and the Neopolitan, Sicilian and Artichoke/Spinach pies were still in the oven. He said he eats this sandwich when he's trying to lose weight from too much pizza.

Made on their fresh baked artisan bread, a light coating of their tasty tomato "gravy" (the same sauce they use in the pizza), perfectly cooked and seasoned broccoli rabe, a sprinkle of parmigiano-reggiano and then back in the oven to bake! The final touch Francis showed me was pouring a teaspoon of juice from the tray of broccoli rabe, "just to moisten the rabe and bread to make it a bit easier to bite into..."

Extracted from my post on the Yelp Talk Thread:
Artichoke Pizza in NY Mag/Grub Street
I talked to Francis while he was putting the final touches on prepping -- he's working on getting the hours on track (NY Mag misquoted him their opening time). But he did tell me he's working on the following:
- additional staff to come early morning to start prepping dough, chopping/grating the cheese, making sauce
- getting more menus printed (I'm having Francis & Sal autograph one for you Julia N.!)
- installing an air-conditioner in time for the warm weather

Some ideas I bounced off of him were (he's definitely open to feedback):
- A webcam looking from the kitchen Northward to the street -- so you can see how long the line is before you visit!
- Putting a Twitter badge appear on their website so they can text what time they'll be opening each day, in addition what items they have available.

But they'll be opening consistently for lunch soon!

The guys at Artichoke are truly passionate about their food...and a class-act all the way.

To Francis & Sal and the Artichoke crew...a big grazie!

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