Chef Ciro Verdi (Food Network favorite and pal of Bobby Flay) operated Da Ciro Ristorante on Lexington Avenue between 33rd and 34th streets for over twenty years before relocating it to its current spot on Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill after a two-year hiatus. But his greatest contribution to New York’s pizza pantheon is the heavenly Focaccia Robiola, which he created in 1989. It’s technically a white pizza, but it’s really something else entirely. A grilled cheese–pizza hybrid, perhaps? An ever-so-thin pie of pocked focaccia bread is sliced in half, smeared with a rich, creamy blend of robiola (a soft-ripened cheese of the stracchino variety), tossed back in the wood-fired oven, then finished off with a drizzle of white truffle oil and sliced into triangles. When you bite into the almost cracker-like bread, the bubbling cheese oozes out of the crevices, changing your perception of what a pizza could be. Perhaps that’s why it warrants being served on a plate that bears the name of the dish (and creator) on its perimeter — because there’s nothing else like it.
458-460 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn