If you’ve tasted the pizza that comes piping hot out of DoughNation, chef David DiBari’s mobile pizza truck, you know. It’s just about perfect: light, airy and charred, with inventive toppings and bold flavors. It’s so good, it draws legions of followers, myself included, to farmers markets and festivals all over Westchester.
Only one thing. At the farmers market, there’s nowhere to sit. And we wouldn’t mind a beer, either.
Lucky for us, those problems were solved earlier this month, when DiBari, also the chef-owner of The Cookery in Dobbs Ferry, opened The Parlor, a restaurant serving wood-fired pizza cooked in the same brand of oven that sits on the back of the DoughNation truck.
The restaurant’s look and feel couldn’t be more fitting for DiBari, who has a reputation as the bad boy chef of the Lower Hudson Valley. Its stripped-down decor — a chain-link fence along the dining area, corrugated metal covered in graffiti on the walls, burlap sacks on the seat cushions — reminds me of Roberta’s in Brooklyn.
The menu matches the urban atmosphere. Wood-fired oysters taste of a warm sea and come with brown butter and pickled parsley — bright and anise-y — scattered over their shells. There’s only one way to eat rich, juicy salmon collars, seasoned with Slovenian sea salt, lemon oil and oregano: Pick the bones up with your hands. Parlor Pockets ooze with the yolk of soft-cooked eggs, wrapped in pizza dough batter and served with house-made ricotta and few drops of truffle oil and a sprinkle of tiny leaves of thyme.
There are no entrees; just pizza. It’s served uncut, with scissors, so you make your own slices at the table.
The toppings change with the season, so before winter comes, don’t miss the fresh greens (really!); the spicy arugula is a terrific match for the garlicky, creamy mozzarella underneath. DiBari makes his own pepperoni, house-smokes it and scatters it, chopped, over a pie with creamy mozzarella and house-made tomato sauce. The sausage’s spicy, heady flavor unravels in waves on your tongue. There was a newcomer to the menu the night we were there: bone marrow pizza, a foodie dare DiBari is known to dangle. It is drizzled with vin cotto, a reduced vinegar so sweet we wondered if it were jam.
We started with cocktails: they come in individual bottles with their names written on masking tape stripped across each. It’s cute, but feels a little gimmicky; DiBari says pre-making the cocktails keeps ratios consistent. We tried a negroni and a Manhattan and they were both well-balanced (and potent!).
Dessert is simple and super-sweet: Nutella balls with crisped rice. Breadsticks, “Cinnastix,” they’re called, tossed with cinnamon and served with a buttery, cream cheese dipping sauce. A cannoli cake roll with toasted pistachios and chocolate chips.
Oh, and that beer? No taps, but there are craft beers in bottles like Full Sail Session Lager and Speakeasy Prohibition Ale, and American classics like a 40-ounce Colt 45 and Schaefer in a can. The taps are reserved for wine: a prosecco, 3 reds and 2 whites, all simple selections you wouldn’t mind sipping on the porch. The wine goes great with the pizza. But then again, here, it’s hard to imagine much that wouldn’t.
If you go
The Parlor, 14 Cedar St., Dobbs Ferry. 914-428-8200, website coming soon; check Facebook for its page. Hours: 5-10 p.m. Tuesday; noon-4 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; noon-4 p.m. and 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon-3 p.m. and 4-9 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday.