Manor Road houses some great dining spots but Unit D Pizzeria has to be one of the more unique. Owner Shalouf had this building with one unit left for rent,. So she decided instead to turn it into a pizza joint. Turned out to be a terrific idea and describes, literally, how it got its name. She acquired a state-of-the-art oven from Naples and recently hooked up with the extremely talented chef George Thomas.
An evening at Unit D is an exercise in tastes, textures, and scintillating aromas. The menu is smallish but everything on there is worthy of your consideration. The Whole Leaf Spinach Salad with tomato confit and pickled radish is highlighted by a black garlic ranch dressing that finishes a very tasty dish. Took me a few tastes to get used to the dressing but then it really kicked in. And the Kale Salad may even be better. I’ll be honest: I’m not, nor have I ever been a huge fan of kale. But the waiter told me this salad draws fans from around the city. Hence, I gingerly tried a bite or two. Then, surprisingly, I kept on going. It was delicious. The lemon, cashews, millet, raisins and pickled peach just worked perfectly on my inItially reluctant palate.
There’s always a first time!
Then on to one of the best Charcuterie boards I have tasted in ages. The prosciutto di parma, the cappacola. the salume,
the sweet mustard seed [of which I had to get an extra serving] all combined for a riveting experiences. Of course this was served along small pieces of sourdough crust with just a hint of char that elevated the entire mouth feel. What a delightful second course!
Of course this is essentially a pizzeria. And the tempting choices. The pizzas are cooked in a wood-burning oven following the Naeapolitan tradition. And Chef Thomas knows a thing or two about making a pizza. The cornicione [end crusts] are perfect [a little crispy and a little doughy] with the obligatory leopard spotting observed. The first pizza we tried was the Pepperoni Primo. Absolutely delicious. The pepperoni with lardo iberico [cured pork fat] and calabrian peppers was subtle and laden with so many flavors it was hard to know where to begin. But we toughed it out and even managed to sample a slice from the fridge the next day [perfect].
The proximity to neighbor Dai Due enables Unit D to crank out a smoked beef sausage, kale, radicchio, sage and aged maple vinegar pie with a white sauce that is terrific.The flavors are riveting and everything on the pie complements the sausage. This one never made it home: not even a slice!
Then we tried the Marscapone Sundae for dessert. This one is the perfect closer.
The salted caramel ice cream was spectacularly tasty, and peanuts and marshmallow perfectly finished the dish off.
On a grading scale, Unit D gets an A+. This is authentic food, lovingly coaxed and nurtured to fruition by a great staff.