Ukrainian Village barstaurant Pub Royale is best known for its Devon Avenue-worthy Indian food, but it also happens to serve a great burger, excellent hot chicken, a chicken tikka wrap that makes for ideal stoner food, and a decadent doughnut. So it should come as little surprise that the kitchen staff knows how to whip up a really good pizza.
“We do pizza a lot,” says chef Nate Tano as he shapes the crust for one of the off-menu pies that the staff often subsist on. For family meal, the cooks typically make use of whatever is available in the kitchen. “Pizza is really conducive to the space,” sous chef Giuseppe Villa says, because Pub Royale’s naan and parathas are made in-house, and there’s typically plenty of leftover ingredients for dough.
This being one of three days during the week when Pub Royale is open for lunch service, Tano and Villa are preparing the staff meal while simultaneously working on dishes for the last customers who were able to sneak in an order before the changeover to dinner. Despite the balancing act, Tano and Villa are mindful of what their coworkers eat—and can eat.
“When we hire people, part of what we ask for is their dietary restrictions,” general manager Jenn Fink says. “These guys make sure every staff member has something they can eat, whether they’re gluten free or vegetarian. Right now they’re making vegetarian pizza, for me.” Tano and Villa also assemble two salads: one’s a standard house salad, the other a garlicky tangle of kale sprinkled with bits of bacon. The food is served buffet style. Staff members near the bar make conversation over their food, while others eat closer to the door. The consensus is that the pizza is very good, but the snickerdoodles are
I ask Tano if he’s ever considered adding either the ‘za or the cookies to the menu. “We have a garlic naan, so who knows?” he says. “The only thing missing is tomato sauce and cheese!” v
700 g all-purpose flour
600 g sugar
4 t cream tartar
2 t baking soda
1 lb butter (at room temperature)
10 g salt
5 g vanilla extract
50 g ground cinnamon
100 g sugar
Make the cinnamon sugar and set aside.
Whip the butter and sugar in a mixer until the volume doubles. Sift together the remaining dry ingredients. Once the butter is whipped, add in the vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time. Lower the mixing speed, then add the dry ingredients in three parts; make sure that after each addition the flour is completely mixed in. Use a two-ounce scoop to portion onto a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. (It should yield 32 cookies.) Sprinkle them heavily with the cinnamon sugar, then bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes, rotating the sheet tray halfway through.