Pizza brunch is becoming a trend, one that I wholeheartedly support. I’ve seen variations of breakfast pizza pop up on an increasing number of menus and it’s the perfect dish to share with a group and admittedly sop up a lingering hangover.
I ecstatically accepted the invitation to come into Brunetti in the West Village for brunch and brought along two of my best friends, Molly and Sondra. This restaurant wasn’t on my radar (there really are just too many cute restaurants competing in the neighborhood), but after a quick Google I was pleased to see glowing Yelp reviews, a Neapolitan-style brick-oven pizza, and an original location in Westhampton Beach. This all boded well for the pizza joint.
The eatery is tucked away on the corner of Hudson and Jane, a killer downtown location. The branded façade and metal café tables outside were pretty nondescript, but inside was infinitely more charming. The restaurant is cozy and warm, partially due to the impressive brick-oven pizza by the bar in the back. Brunetti has a distinct neighborhood, family-friendly feel.
The restaurant focuses more on lunch than brunch so our server had to double check if there were mimosas available. Although off-menu, mimosas could be created but we ended up with a round of bellinis per Jason Brunetti’s personal recommendation.
Bellinis seemed more appropriate for an Italian restaurant anyways so we welcomed his suggestion. He didn’t steer us wrong; the bellinis had plenty of bubbles and fresh squeezed juice. It was a refreshing way to start our meal as we perused the menu.
We had a relatively late start to brunch and were all ravenously hungry so we immediately put in an order for a few starters. First to the table was the Masseria salad, consisting of farro, kale, chickpeas, cabbage, walnuts, almonds, dried blueberries, and ricotta salata. That ingredient list is certainly a mouthful, but all of the healthy elements came together for a rich and complex bite.
Sondra retrospectively remarked that the salad was her favorite part of the meal; you’ll only appreciate the magnitude of that compliment if you know that the girl runs primarily on cheese and only recently started eating veggies. It truly was a standout salad.
Next up were the meatball slides, another one of owner Jason Brunetti’s recommendations. The all-beef meatballs are his grandma Mary’s recipe and were covered with goat cheese and Calabrian pepper sauce within the house made brioche buns. This starter absolutely melts in your mouth and was savory enough that it tided us over until our pizzas arrived.
Although Pizzetteria Brunetti is more of a lunch spot, there are a few egg dishes on the menu so we naturally had to sample one. We narrowed it down to the baked eggs with pork sausage ragu. The abundance of cheese made this dish extremely rich and we could only savor a bite or two. The eggs were a bit lost under the cheese and ragu, and we deemed this the most unmemorable part of our meal.
Finally, the stars of the brunch: the pizza. After seeing the amazing ingredient list for the Funghi e Cipolle pie, which included mushrooms, caramelized onions, goat cheese, and honey truffle oil, Molly and I knew we had to try it. It was absolutely delicious and I loved the sweetness of the pizza. The crust was chewy and slightly charred, just how I like it.
We also tried the carbonara pizza, which became so popular during brunch that they added it to the dinner menu. The pizza tasted just like the pasta dish with egg yolk, fresh ground pepper, pancetta, and plenty of cheese. This pizza is for the unweary; it’s very creamy and decadent. This was Sondra’s favorite between the two pizzas, while Molly and I were on Team Funghi.
Jason swung by our table before we rolled ourselves out and remarked that he was impressed that three small girls threw back that much food. What can we say, we were hungry Bitches. Plus, his tasty Italian fare made it easy.
The Bitches say: Four Champagne flutes. A hidden gem among the big name West Village brunches with delicious wood-fired pizzas and Italian charm.
Pizzetteria Brunetti serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays beginning at noon.