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Eat and Drink

9 things to know about visiting SRO, NYC's pizza speakeasy

Single Room Occupancy, or SRO, is NYC's only pizza speakeasy, but the secret's out.

Champion pizzaiolo Giulio Adriani split from Williamsburg pizzeria Forcella last year to start Espoleta, a tapas restaurant on the Bowery, but his passion for pizza persisted. In January, Adriani debuted SRO, which actually seats 24. His newest pizza project is "hidden" behind a "secret" door in Espoleta and features an ever-changing prix-fixe menu and Adriani's prized Neapolitan pies.

Step into the speakeasy with us and pick up a few tips before your visit.

1. SRO is inside Espoleta

A neon sign marked
Photo Credit: FACEBOOK/SRO

A neon sign marked "No Vacancy" at 334 Bowery (across from the Bowery Hotel and parallel to two other great Italian restaurants -- Bar Primi and Gemma), alerts diners to SRO's existence, if they know what they're looking for. Enter through Espoleta and tell the host you're there for SRO. You'll probably be requested to order a drink at the bar, as SRO's first few weeks have been known to be crowded with less than prompt service.

2. You CAN make a reservation at SRO

Albeit a speakeasy, this is one with a
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

Albeit a speakeasy, this is one with a host and a reservation book. Thursdays through Sundays the 24 seats fill up but try earlier in the week for your shot at a table. You can call (212) 466-3301 to reserve, no secret pass code necessary.

3. You're getting a $38 prix-fixe

The three-course, $38 menu includes a half glass
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

The three-course, $38 menu includes a half glass of wine paired to match the appetizer, pizza and dessert. You can request one full glass of wine or beer rather than the tasting, if you prefer. To complement the tasting menu you can also order additional pizzas for $10 each and appetizers for $5.

4. The menu changes nightly

You may have seen some awesome sausage and
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

You may have seen some awesome sausage and broccoli creation on Instagram, but that doesn't necessarily mean you can enjoy it every night. You can, however, rely on the pizza montanara, Giulio Adriani's signature fried pizza, and some type of calzone. Rotating pies include: Espoleta (chorizo, shishito peppers, Sun Gold tomatoes, fresh mozzarella); SRO (merguez, stracchino, caramelized onions); and Uptown (lardo, burrata, truffle, leeks.)

5. You really are going for the pizza montanara

This Neapolitan specialty made with deep fried dough
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

This Neapolitan specialty made with deep fried dough and topped with saucy tomatoes and creamy mozzarella is the true menu standout. While the other pizzas are quality Neapolitan options, this is the pizza that put Adriani on New Yorker's pizza maps.

6. SRO isn't the only place to get fried pizza

While SRO may be New York's only pizza
Photo Credit: FACEBOOK/donantoniopizza

While SRO may be New York's only pizza speakeasy, it's not the only purveyor of Montanara. Forcella in Williamsburg still has fried pies, and pizza spots like Hell's Kitchen's Don Antonio by Starita and Greenpoint's Adelina's both serve a tasty rendition of Pizza Montanara.

7. SRO is really cozy inside

The forecast inside SRO: warm and toasty. Lacking
Photo Credit: FACEBOOK/SRO

The forecast inside SRO: warm and toasty. Lacking windows (it's a speakeasy) but boasting a wood-burning fire, SRO offers a nice escape from the winter cold. Don't go wearing your bulkiest sweater. You'll be seated closely to other diners, perfect for observing their menu choices but not ideal if you're breaking into a shishito pepper pizza induced sweat.

8. Come hungry, leave with leftovers

Whether you like it or not, you're having
Photo Credit: INSTAGRAM/SROPizza

Whether you like it or not, you're having a three-course meal here. Don't hesitate to ask to take away half your pizza for tomorrow's lunch or pack dessert to enjoy after your cold jog to the subway. While this is a trendy speakeasy,it's also a restaurant. No need to overly stuff yourself when to-go containers are just a polite request away!

9. Don't skip out on dessert

It's included on the three course menu: treat
Photo Credit: FLICKR/shell-xiaoxiao

It's included on the three course menu: treat yourself! While a recent homemade apple tart with raisins proved lackluster, the tres leches cake is a crowd (and social media) favorite. If it's not offered on your nightly menu, try asking for the off-menu Nutella pizza, just to see if you can possibly enjoy this decadent sweet.

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