Calling Radio City Pizzeria a pizza parlor is like calling Edward Snowden a problematic employee — both statements may be true, but they don’t tell you the half of it. Like Citizenfour, RCP is about to make some major waves; unlike America’s most prominent ex-pat, the only problem you’re going to have with this place is getting into it.
Before we dive in for your delectation, a little history is in order. RCP began its restaurant life in Tivoli Village a few years ago. It was a middling pizza joint at best, and disappeared quickly from that venue. It resurfaced on East Fremont Street a couple of years ago to a collective yawn. (A few bites of its so-so fare — a month or so after its opening — was all we needed to write the place off altogether.)
Late last year, Jake Leslie — one of the brains and brawn behind The Goodwich — took us aside, said he was planning something big downtown, and swore us to secrecy. (We didn’t have to swear much since he revealed almost nothing to us at the time.) Around New Year’s we noticed renovations going on to the interior of Radio City, but thought to ourselves: “They must be trying to put a silk hat on a pig,” and that was that.
Two weeks ago, a foodie friend* implored us to go with them to check out the food. “You’ve got to be kidding?” was ELV’s incredulous response to their entreaty. “Radio City Pizzeria? Why on earth would I waste my time and calories there?”
“Just wait,” they told us.
And so we went. And we waited.
We at ELV have been big fans of La Comida since the day it opened. We consider it the jewel in the crown of Michael and Jenna Morton’s local restaurant empire, and the only one of their places that oozes soulfulness, instead of corporate calculation. (Sorry La Cave and Crush, but everything about your operation screams “For Tourists and Conventioneers Only.”)
ELV — the man, the lawyer, the critic, the overage party boy — has never been a fan of Oscar Goodman — the man, the myth, the prevaricator, the drunk. It’s not like we have ever had any sort of feud or something. In fact, we barely knew each other until he ran for mayor over a decade ago. As a politician, Oscar was obliged to get to know everybody, and as a person who respects thoughtful, human dignity, we were obliged to avoid him as much as possible.