When Charlie Bird opened, it felt like it was an immediate success before anyone even tried the food because of one of the owners awesome wine reputation and because the beats on any given night were on point. It’s no surprise the exact same thing happened when their sister restaurant opened in Nolita called Pasquale Jones. The reservations are probably one of the toughest in the city right now, and the wait for the bar seats can lead up to two hours. However, I can’t express enough how much I absolutely loved every single part of my experience and that my month long wait for my reservation was worth it. The restaurant is super small but feels very comfortable and peppy. Sit at the bar where you can literally be on top of the chefs (not like that) and next to the skillets cooking the amazing pastas. There’s something about being in these high-top seats, with one side of you overlooking the entire restaurant and your other side with the food being made basically at the palm of your hand. Talk to these guys who are working hard to cook your food perfectly. They are fun and are the best people to give ordering recommendations.
Due to social media and restaurant reviews, it seems as if you have to order the Clam Pizza or it’s off with your head! Well after talking to our buddy behind the counter, he convinced us the new Spicy Copa pizza was our move. The pizza has a crunchy yet airy crust, and the rest of the pie is soft and thin. Just the way I like it where you can take down 2-3 slices easily and guilt-free. I do need to back up and say that my absolute favorite thing on the menu was the Leeks with Toasted Walnuts and Parmigiano Reggiano. Where the hell did this non-sleeper dish come from? Leeks are one of my favorite vegetables, and sadly it’s true that they never get enough attention and are never designed to be the star dish. Pasquale Jones, however, literally makes these guys taste like an explosion of gold in your mouth that you’ve never experienced before. They are thick, crunchy, a little cheesy, and a perfect Italian appetizer. To be honest, I could come here and just order a bowl of this and be satisfied, but who would ever forgo pizza? The artichokes are another green goddess to start. As far as pastas go, we got the Goat Ragu Pappardelle which had been braised for several hours—a little too rich for me, and it just didn’t outshine the other dishes. The rosé was also one of the best glasses I’ve ever had. Light, a tad fruity, and perfect with all of the eclectic Italian flavors.
Don’t let my warning about tables scare you off. Just go early or late with one other person, and you’re bound to find yourself chowing down on pizza in no time. No, we didn’t get the Clam Pizza, but the good this is everything is so outstanding, that I will be back as soon as I can.