Life's a beach and then you pie at the second outpost of oceanside pizza joint http://lifesapizzabeach.com/">Pizza Beach, which opens this evening smack in the thick of Hell Square on the Lower East Side. For their newest outpost owners Tom and Anthony Martignetti have brought some local flavor to the restaurant, hiring Eric Kleinman, of the dearly departed 'inoteca, to keep things groovy in the kitchen. There's no truffled egg toast on the menu, but Kleinman's apparently making his mark in other ways, through seasonal salads, vegetable dishes and meaty entrees.
In keeping with the easy breezy theme, entrees are of the lighter variety, including Diver Scallops ($16) nestled in a puree of sunchokes and celery, scented with rosemary and lemon oil and Merguez Sausage ($15) is brightened with cilantro, cumin and coriander. Pizzas are Neapolitan-style, with puffy crusts topped with Pineapple & Speck ($16) plus mozzarella and jalapenos and Mushroom & Stracciatella ($19) with roasted leeks, mascarpone cheese and white truffle oil. Pies can be made gluten-free and with vegan cheese, if desired.
The Orchard Street outpost is even more summery than its UES sister, though the motifs are more or less identical. This one's much larger, though, at 2,500-square-feet with a downstairs dining room that seats 60 for private events. The small bar area up front aims to reduce Seasonal Affective Disorder with a "vitamin D-spiked rum punch" called Beach Juice, made with two different kinds of rum plus orange, pineapple and mango juices and a dash of nutmeg.
167 Orchard, website