**UPDATE: As of May 2012, there is a new chef!**
I’ve been to Nizza five times now. Twice in the last week. The first time I went on a dinner date with Kelly of Celiac Chicks and tweeted about our lovely experience.
Back in January, I supposed when Nizza attained their GFRAP status, Celiac Chicks had written about Nizza as well as Gluten-Free NYC.
When Kelly and I went, we found the manager right away, Gaetano, also the wine director, who told us about the history of the socca in France and Italy.
(Here’s Mark Bittman from the New York Times in 2005 talking about socca. And here’s his socca recipe.
The chickpea flour based pizzette i.e. socca is quite rich, Chickpeas are high in protein which I suspect is part of the richness, also the large a quantity olive oil in the flour mixture. The pizzette is thin, pancake-like and as large as a dinner plate. The “crust” is best when very toasty at its edges, which helps to give it some structure. Under the weight of the mozz, socca can get soggy but no matter--still tastes just as delicious. Nizza’s socca pizzas make excellent starters and are equally filling as a main with a salad.
Re: the chickpea flour. During my first visit, Gaetano, told us that they grind the chickpeas in house. When I went last week however, Chef de Cuisine Peter told me no, the chickpeas are from a commercial vendor. I have looked into the vendor which is Regina Nut owned and operated by Sahadi Foods. I’ve asked them about their cross contamination policies etc. More soon when/if I hear back from them. However, I have not had any issues with the socca product thus far.
**If you have a severe nut allergy and/or are concerned about possible cross contamination, then this chickpea flour product may not for you.**
Nizza has a GF menu.
Here’s my dinner last week.
Big salad app:
Pomodoro socca with toasty edges:
GF (La Veneziene) pasta with tomatoes, peas and prosciutto:
Nizza is part of Chef Andy d`Amico’s group of southern French restos. Over the years they have gotten better and better about dealing with allergies. (I had one dubious experience at Nice Matin at least ten years ago, clueless staff and errors, which prompted me to skip eating. However since then it’s markedly improved at every outpost of this group: 5 Napkin Burger, Marseille, Café’D’Alsace. Sign of the times to be sure.)
Nizza would be perfect for a pre-theater jaunt. However, I’m looking forward to trying them during brunch service next.
Thank you Chef Andy d`Amico’s and Nizza staff.
630 9th Ave
New York, NY 10036