Dish No. 75: Hot Dog Pizza at Lievito
Wait! What the hell are those little meat coins on my pizza?
West Village newcomer Lievito offers a unique take on northern Italian food, via Florentine apps and Milanese pizzas. The wurstel pizza is a case in point, offered nowhere else in the city that we know of.
Pizza is really all about crust, and the crust on the wurstel is unimpeachable.
First-timers confronted with the wurstel are often skeptical: "What are those weiners on top? They look an awful lot like Vienna sausages," referring to the stubby and rubbery links that live in tin cans. But these are not Vienna sausages, but the type of wursts popular in the far north of Italy, where much of the food has a German or Austrian tinge. (Schnitzels of pork, veal, and horse meat are also extremely popular.)
Indeed, the sausages, which have a salty and garlicky savor, are wildly flavorful, so you find yourself savoring every little round fragment. The copious amounts of mozzarella provide the perfect backdrop, while the tomatoes are mainly there for color accent.
Here is what Lievito looks like: If it weren't so damn hot outside, you might want to sit on the sidewalk.
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