Located in Bushwich, one of Brooklyn's up and coming neighborhoods, Roberta's has a lot of buzz these days. Apparently, it's one of New York's hippest places to dine. My friend Daniel sent me a link to a NY Times article about Roberta's while I was in New York. The Times article described Roberta's as “one of the more extraordinary restaurants in the United States.” It said that “Roberta's pizzas are marvelous things, . . . . They are just good ingredients married well, then cooked in hot, fragrant smoke and quickly served.”
Roberta's sounded like my kind of place. And even though it was a 30 minute commute by subway, I decided to give it a go. For those of you familiar with the San Francisco Bay Area, Bushwich is a lot like a pre-gentrification Emeryville: a gritty industrial area just beginning to attract artists, lofts, and upscale retail.
Luckily, on the weekday afternoon that I visited, I easily got a table with no wait. (I was told by the waitress that on weekends, expect a 2-3 hours wait.) After a cursory glance at the menu, I decided to have one of those “marvelous pizzas” from “one of the more extraordinary restaurants in the United States.” Unfortunately, the pizza was simply mediocre. In fact, it was slightly burnt. It was thin crusted, the way I like, but it was bland and unremarkable. There was certainly nothing special about it. It was a pizza I could get at any pizzeria. The restaurant did have a patio (I guess that makes it extraordinary by New York standards), but the interior was lack luster. In short, Roberta's was just an ordinary restaurant.
Lesson learned: be suspicious of buzz and hype.