>> Monday, December 8, 2008

108-26 Ascan Avenue
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 263-1126

I've neglected my domiciliary borough for quite some time. And what better way to get back to my blog's roots than by taking a quick little stop in at Nick's Pizza. especially since I was feeling mighty lazy this evening and didn't really want to travel more than a few blocks. Bro and I departed and, a few blocks later, lucked out by getting the last table open.

For the past who-knows-how-many years, Nick's Pizza has been considered the best pizza in Queens. Plenty of folks have argued that it could be considered the best in the city, if not for the fact that Queens is considered... uh... kinda lame. Even being named a New York Magazine Critics Pick hasn't drummed up too many reverse commutes. Unlucky them, more for us.

Nick's tall copper ceilings and photos circa the Great Depression hearken back to a time when Forest Hills began its tenure as the only swanky neighborhood outside of Manhattan with a subway line smack in the heart of it.

Bro ordered the plain pie and I went for one topped with fresh tomato and fresh garlic. Nick's also has a pretty good sized beer selection, so I grabbed a Brooklyn Lager while bro ordered a microbrew from California that I can't remember the name of.

Nick's isn't like most city pizza. It doesn't sell pizza by the slice, it doesn't crank out twenty plain pies that few toppings get tossed onto before being reheated. It doesn't deliver. Nick's is sort of haute pizza, if such a thing can exist. Pizza, salads, microbrews, and espressos. All of its thin-crusts come with a small touch of that brick oven burn people here love and a healthy dose of fresh basil. The sauce has a distinct bite to it that's instantly lets you know that this isn't something that they poured from a can. The mozzarella is a part of the pizza, rather than the only thing you taste. It's sparse and those who crave ooey-gooey pies where strings of cheese coat your chin can hit up a Papa Johns. But I suggest trying something new.

Nick's pies go for $16 for a large plain. Beers are roughly $4 each. You can leave home without your American Express. Nick's is cash only.

Note, this posting is both here and on the citywide eateryROW.

Update: 01/17/2009

My friend, Seth, and I went to Nick's yesterday. It was bitterly cold, as you might remember. Four staff members wandered around, taking orders, cleaning tables, bringing food. NOT ONE greeted us. No one told us how long we would have to wait. No one noticed us standing at the entrance, hovering over other guests. The pizza cooks did, but they didn't tell any of the folks in the black shirts. We stood for, without exaggeration, four or five minutes. Long enough for one table to finish their meal, pay and leave. We walked out when they did and ate elsewhere.


Anonymous,  January 13, 2010 at 3:41 PM  

I don't care for the attitude at Nick's. Their salads are quite tasty, but Dee's gets my business for Brick Oven Pizza and more!

Jon Parker January 13, 2010 at 5:46 PM  

I love the pizza here, but their service is certainly wanting. As for Dee's, I love Dee's pizza too!

Susan February 4, 2010 at 5:48 PM  

I never understood the Forest Hills love affair with Nicks. Forget the horrible service -- I just never thought the pizza was all that good, on top of which I'm not a waffle-style cannoli fan.

I realize I've posted this elsewhere, but I can't stop myself ... went back yet again to Tuscan Hills last night (brought my neighbors with me this time) and we shared a Margerihta pie as an appetizer. If you like thin crust pizza (which I do), this is hands down the best brick-oven pizza in the 'hood (in my humble opinion).

Oh, the sea bass I had for my main course was incredible too!

Jon Parker February 4, 2010 at 6:34 PM  

I can't agree. Nick's is very good. I was at Grimaldi's last week and they stunk by comparison. I'll cut the service slack when the food's worth it. On the other hand, if the food blows, no amount of good service will make up for it.

As for Tuscan Hills, people will start thinking you're a shareholder. And I'll be there soon enough to test whether or not it's as good as you say.

Susan February 5, 2010 at 11:39 AM  

haha, I like the idea of being a shareholder. Maybe I can convince them to open a second restaurant a little closer to my building :)

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