What’s your chosen superpower? Have you always wished you could fly, or have deep conversations with your dog? Or maybe you mutter Harry Potter spells in your boss’ general direction, hoping she’ll lose some fingers so she can no longer type “please advise.” Our chosen power would be to un-taste things, so that we could eat them for the first time again.
That first time trying the food at Emily’s original Clinton Hill location is something we would like to be wiped from our brains, so that we could do it all over again. And if we could un-experience the original Emily altogether, we have a feeling we’d be a lot more excited about Emily West Village.
To be clear, the food at the new Emily is very good. Great, even. If you’ve never been to the original Emily, it might blow your mind. But if you have, it just won’t feel the same - or taste quite as good.
The bar is set unbelievably high - the original Emily in Clinton Hill is a special place. It’s not only home to our all-time favorite burger in the city, but also to some fantastic thin-crust pizzas. And the small room, while fairly bare-bones, has some undeniable magic to it. The second location, Emmy Squared, in Williamsburg, serves thick, square Detroit-style pizzas and some incredible sandwiches. It’s the first place our mind goes when we decide we want to do something terrible for our bodies.
Emily West Village’s menu is essentially a mashup: there are thin-crust pizzas along with Detroit-style pizzas (though with different topping combinations than the other two locations), and a burger that splits the difference between the Emmy burger from Emily and the Le Big Matt, the double-stacked burger served in the basement of Emmy Squared.
It’s all impressive stuff to put in your mouth, whether you’ve been to the other spots or not. But if you have been to the other Emilys, you might be a little disappointed. You might miss the original, thin-crust Colonie, or the thick-crust Roni Supreme (neither of which are on this menu). You might start thinking you can actually taste the difference in the pizza oven. And you’ll probably miss the old space, with its homey feel and super-friendly servers. Especially if you get seated in the basement room of the bi-level space - it feels like a dungeon down there.
If you’re someone who gets existential about pizza, know that we’ve considered the fact that a place deserves to be judged on its merit alone, without its history attached. While Emily West Village is the least-good option of the three Emily’s, it’s still a damn good spot on its own. If you’re set on sticking around Manhattan, and you want a taste of Emily, the West Village location is absolutely worth of your time. Even better - try it during lunch, when you’ll be able to skip the four-hour wait. Come to think of it, that goes on our superpower wishlist.
If you came to a place known for its insane burgers and pizza, and have a strong need to eat a salad, that’s the wrong need. This Caesar is basically leaves and anchovies, and should be skipped. Save your health guilt for tomorrow.
A green thing we do endorse eating here. This broccoli is covered in kewpie (Japanaese mayo) and bonito flakes, and on the health scale is probably not all that different from eating a pizza. And it’s delicious.
This is the original Emily’s signature pizza, and at the new Emily they do it Detroit-style - a.k.a as a thick, square pie. It’s topped with pepperoni and pickled chilies and honey, and the spicy-sweet combination is very enjoyable with the soft on the inside, crusty on the outside pizza dough. We just like it better in thin-crust format.
This is the extremely well-executed, New York City version of a pizza that’s probably served in a sports bar somewhere in a state that starts with a vowel. It’s topped with chicken, wing sauce, blue cheese, scallions, and radishes, and it’s something we’d like to be eating right now.
If you’ve never eaten clams on your pizza before, and you’re both excited and afraid, this is basically Clam Pie Lite. The clams are chopped up very small, and the pizza’s covered in a red chilli sauce.
Our favorite thin-crust pizza at Emily West Village. This is super simple: just crust, sauce, stracciatella (like burrata, but even creamier), and basil. It’s surprisingly light, and a perfect thing to split with something else not-light. Like the burger.
This is basically a carbon copy of the original Emmy burger, except with two patties instead of one. The original Emmy is a perfect burger specimen, with perfect ratios. Adding a second patty here, in our opinion, messes with those perfect ratios. However - even if it’s the ugly stepsister of the Emmy, it’s still an extremely beautiful thing. Get one on the table.