Rize Coffee [CLOSED]

122 East 42nd Street  New York, NY 

A pleasant surprise a few steps from Grand Central, where this nice cafe went unnoticed for several months. Today there are no smartphone distractions or hurried rushes to the subway. Today the eye is captured by a blackboard with the special coffee of the day, from Ethiopia.

The additional 50 cents for this special blend buy a ticket for a 5-minute trip to Africa. Exquisite flavors of chocolate and spices propagate from the red cup where the single shot is dense and short as good espresso should be.

Pizza @ Pizzarte

69 West 55th Street, New York, NY 

Finding a good pizza in Midtown is an almost impossible task. Most of the places offer pizza by the slice: a quick bite of dubious quality for lunch breaks at the office and for tourists rushing between Central Park and Times Square

Pizzarte is an appreciated exception to this general rule, and also a good reason for adventuring above 23rd Street.

The location is 40% pizzeria, 40% restaurant and 20% art gallery. The “Pizzarte” name obviously combines the pizza and the art gallery concept, but it is also a statement about the approach to the preparation of pizza.

The tomato sauce is lightly sweet and dense, blending properly with the melted mozzarella. The mozzarella did not release water, leaving the baked dough with a balanced texture (even though I would expect it to be a little bit fluffier, for a Neapolitan pizza).

They also have a magnificent pizza tartufata and delicious fried pizza. The wine list is really interesting: it helps with the challenging task of pairing wine with pizza. The service was  polite, efficient and entertaining.

This is one of the few places in midtown where it is worth to come back again and again.