When I originally posted this photo to Instagram, my lede involved asking the name of that thing where you hear about something once and then it seems to start coming up OVER AND OVER.
Shortly after I posted, the one-and-only Jason Kottke, internet generalist and pioneering blogger offered the answer: the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon.
As you can guess, that’s what happened to me recently with Song e Napule.
I’d actually seen this Neapolitan pizzeria pop up in my IG feed — via Pizza Instagram, and because I think they followed me at some point.
Then, in talking to Scott “Pizza Tours” Wiener a couple weeks ago, he mentioned it as feeling as close to Naples as any Neapolitan pizzeria he’s visited in New York.
Shortly after that, Rachel Wilke DM’d me that I needed to get there, saying her neighbor, an Italian, raved about it and told her that the clientele was almost exclusively expat Italians.
So, blah blah blah, I was near Song E Napule yesterday near lunchtime and checked it out.
Great lunch deal, people! It’s $10 for any pizza on the menu. It rivals the $14 Motorino prix fixe lunch (which also includes a salad).
The pizza was great. Good flavor all around and a sturdier crust than a lot of Neapolitan pies I’ve had. It was pick-up-able, whereas many traditional Neapolitan pizzas demand a knife and fork. (A couple well-sourced little birdies tell me that’s because they use an American flour rather than the usual Italian “00” flour most often found in Neapolitan pizza doughs.)
True to Scott’s observation, it really did feel like … I guess(?) Naples? I’ve never been to Napoli, so I wouldn’t know, but for at least a half an hour I felt transported to a little cafe with seaside views—even though the actual view was of Houston Street and its rumbling buses and honking trucks.
And, per Rachel’s DM, the only other guests in the place at 2pm were an Italian couple—and as I left, another Italian couple had walked up and begun regaling the owner about their mutual origins in Naples.
I had a sausage, onion, and basil pie but will be back to try a more minimal Margherita for a better taste of the crust and cheese.
Until then, folks, hasta la pizza. 😊🍕✌
Song E Napule:146 Houston Street, New York NY 10012; 646-904-8339; songenapulenyc.com
PS — Dinosaurs like me might remember this spot as take-out portion of the short-lived Di Fara spin-off DeMarco’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, which straddled the entryway of 146 Houston, having opened there in 2006. A more formal sit-down Italian restaurant occupied the Bar Veloce portion, and the pizza was made in what became the Song E Napule space but was also available to order by-the-pie in the corner spot. (Predating Song E Napule in this location was Pizza Mezzaluna, which I wrote about a few years back.)
You may also remember De Marco’s as the site of a terrible shooting in March 2007, which left the restaurant’s bartender dead, along with two young NYPD auxiliary police officers and the gunman himself. In retrospect it’s hard to say whether the shooting derailed the De Marco’s spin-off or if other factors were at play, but the enterprise closed not long after. Police were unable to determine the shooter’s motive.
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