Harlem has a new pizza spot, and this one's slinging thin-crust Roman-style pies.
Roland's (2367 Frederick Douglass Blvd at 127th St), from the team behind Harlem Bar-B-Q right next door, is still in soft-open mode.
But a full menu is already in place, offering Italian appetizers like salumi and focaccia, salads, and both traditional and gluten-free pizza.
You won't find any pasta, though. "We wanted to do a few things really well," said co-owner Philip Chapman, who hopes the arrival of Roland's will mean locals won't have to "schlep downtown and Brooklyn to have great pizza."
The cozy bar, still a work in progress, offers beer and wine. Cocktails are coming next week.
Manning the bright red Pavesi oven (just like the one at Roberta's in Brooklyn) is master pizza maker Ettore Tosches, whose Roman-style pie is crispy, with no big edges. "It's a firm slice," explained Tosches.
And looking over the space–both via a portrait and in spirit–is namesake Roland Woodland, a friend of Chapman's who worked in an East Harlem pantry before his death in 2012.
A motto based on his life graces the wall–and acts as a neighborly reminder for all who pass through: "Live your values."