Hey.  Hey guys.  We're going to let you in on a really great secret.  Can't get reservations for Valentine's Day dinner next Tuesday?  Forget that.  You and your hunny should check out Saluggi's in Tribeca.  We had dinner there last night and I'm still craving their food (and Alex is still eating their food; more on that later).

When I first walked into the place, I thought we were having dinner at a run-of-the-mill pizzeria.  It's fairly dark inside, but its bare brick walls are illuminated by a neon pink scripty sign of "Saluggi's NYC".  At the back, the kitchen and bar were pretty open, but it was a little odd looking, since the dining area seemed to blend seamlessly into the waitstaff's prep area and kitchen....  They don't earn too many points for decor in my book, save for an interesting painting of a subway car facing me, but their food makes up for that.

Everything on their menu sounded delicious, and was moderately priced.  Not dirt-cheap like some sketchy pizzerias you'll find, but not gourmet Italian food either.  I ordered the penne alla vodka with chicken and Alex got the large Italian Deli pizza (the waitress had to make sure Alex actually wanted an entire 18" pizza for himself, hahaha).  The food came quickly and was basically really good comfort Italian food.

My penne alla vodka was not at all what I expected, but I was pleasantly surprised.  I imagined the vodka cream sauce to be really thick and pale pink from the addition of cream, but it resembled basic tomato sauce.  On the one hand, I felt like I wasn't really eating penne alla vodka but just penne alla pomodoro-senza-vodka.  On the other hand, I was glad it wasn't so fatty.  My pasta and chicken bits were generously sprinkled with parsley and cheese.  The chicken was a really good addition and it was overall reaaaaally delicious.

Alex's enormous pizza was also a delicious work of art.  Slices of prosciutto (which, to me, tasted more like ham) were covered with mozzarella cheese, caramelized onions, and fresh basil leaves.  My favorite part was the caramelized onion, which were really sweet and made for a really good flavor to pair with the prosciutto and basil.  It's too bad that in some dishes, the sweet flavor of caramelized onions are hidden by other ingredients, but this is definitely a pizza that I could eat over and over and over....

So, this 18" inch pizza provided 8 slices of pizza-y goodness.  Alex informs me right now that the slices he took home provided both lunch and dinner for today, so that's a pretty good investment.  I was thinking last night before we actually went to dinner that I wasn't really in the mood for Italian food, but let's be real, I'm always in the mood for Italian food.  In fact, I would be really happy if...someone could go bring me something from Saluggi's...right now.

325 Church Street