Taste of the LES: San Marzano Brick Oven Pizzeria

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This afternoon we have the final installment of our series leading up to the 10th annual Taste of the Lower East Side. The benefit for the Grand Street Settlement begins this evening at 7 o’clock. We’re wrapping up with San Marzano Brick Oven Pizzeria on Clinton Street. Recently, I stopped by to talk with David Malekan, who owns the restaurant with his brothers, Kourosh and Kamran.

Dave  practiced law and he worked on Wall Street. But toiling in the corporate world did not appeal to him. These days his office is a sunny perch at the corner of Clinton and Rivington Streets. San Marzano has been open since 2008. The centerpiece of the restaurant is a wood fired stone hearth oven imported from Italy.

They are dedicated to finding the freshest ingredients for the dozen or so pizzas on the menu, but Dave says the key is that oven — which cooks a pie in less than two minutes.  The result: a light, crispy crust that can’t be replicated in any conventional oven.

Dave has lived on the Lower East Side for about four years. We talked about the fact that Clinton Street is bursting with restaurants. While there’s stiff competition, he believes the heavy foot traffic on the street has been a key to their early success.

For tonight’s event, they’ll be serving oven toasted brussel sprouts with pancetta, fuji apples and pecorino romano.  Also- a caprino pizza (fontina, goat cheese, carmelized onions, shitake and buttom mushrooms, roasted garlic, thyme and white truffle oil). This is the second year San Marzano has taken part. On a few occasions last year they had to rush more food over to the Puck Building, where the Taste of the LES is held. This time, Dave’s prepared for anything!

If you’d like to make last minute plans to attend the Taste of the LES, follow this link to the Grand Street Settlement’s web site.