New Pizzeria in Tribeca: American Flatbread
Of the pizzas: The Medicine Wheel ($11/$15) seems like the most normal, with sauce, cheese, and herbs, mainly oregano. It was the one we liked best, though there wasn't all that much mozzarella. The predominant cheeses on this baby were two forms of Grana Padano - one domestic, the other Italian. The name of the American one is Blyethdale Farm Cookeville Grana (misspelled on the menu). The creator of the Italian D.O.C. cheese is not identified. Rarely has such subtlety been displayed in a pizza parlor. The only reason I can think for using two granas is that the Italian one must certainly be cheaper.
The Dancing Heart Bread ($9/$13) uses the same crust as the pizzas to create a sort of bendable lavash. It has lots of sesame seeds and cracked black peppercorns, and the same mixture of granas.
Finally, I couldn't help but order the most awful-sounding pizza: Mopsy's Kalua Pork ($16/$21). Wasn't Mopsy one of Peter Rabbit's pals? Anyway, let's reproduce the description of the pie in full: "House smoked free-range pork shoulder, house-made organic mango BBQ sauce, organic red onions, pineapple, VT Butter & Cheese Chevre, whole milk mozzarella, Blythdale Farm Cooksville Grana, Grana Padano, and fresh herbs." The pineapple's lack of pedigree made me suspicious, but you know, the pie wasn't all that bad, and not as sweet as I expected.
The crust, though of irregular girth (the small one is about 10 inches), seemed almost like that of a regular neighborhood pie, only a little tougher. Then there's the char from the wood-burning oven. Not a bad crust, but not one that you'd rave about either.
The name of the place, American Flatbread, seems a trifle jingoistic. Since pizza as we know it was invented in New York, it's really not necessary for New Englanders to claim the distinction of inventing an American pie - especially when what their pizza resembles most is New York neighborhood pizza, but with more expensive ingredients.
American Flatbread Tribeca Hearth
205 Hudson Street