Did you ever have that local pizza joint in your town that were owned by Italians. They all looked the same. The red and white checker tablecloths on simple wooden chairs and tables. Maybe there would be an arcade or pinball machine stuffed away in the corner collecting dust. However, the smells from the kitchen holds your memory so deep that you can actually smell the rising of the crust for a moment. As you drool, reminiscing about how pizzerias used to be before the chains moved into town, you wish you could go back to that place. Although it was not perfect, Brick Oven New York in Gangnam comes pretty close to that old school, Italian pizzeria feel.
How to get there: Brick Oven New York is tucked away in the trendy and some would say pretentious Gangnam. The easiest way to get there is to take the subway to Gangnam station (Line 2) and depart from Exit 11. Up ahead in the distant you will see a giant CGV movie theatre on your right. You will probably walk about 4 – 5 minutes. Once you get to the theatre make a right and start walking up the hill. It will take you about 5 minutes to get to Brick Oven. On your way you should pass a MilkCow ice cream shop on your left.
Atmosphere and Service: Simple wooden chairs and tables? Check. Rock and roll from the 80s on the radio? Check. A rustic red brick interior? Check. A pinball machine? Sorry, we can’t have it all. But what it does have is a comfortable relaxing atmosphere with a nice view for people watching or for staring at the magnolia tree they have growing in the back.
Service was okay. There were only two customers besides my wife and I and the server seemed a bit distracted at times. She was friendly enough, but there were a few times that I was hoping she would come over and check on us. That said, it was nothing that would deter me from going back.
Food and Drink: Today we split a pizza. Half of the pizza was Prosciutto and the other half was Quattro Formaggi. We started with a plate of Garlic Romano Fries. We were a little disappointed because we had heard good things about the Garlic Knots, but they are no longer available.. Sad.. Bring them back!
Garlic Romano Fries (5500KRW): The garlic fries were excellent compensation for the garlic knots. The fries were crisp to a golden brown, garlic sprinkled on the plate and a side bowl of ranch sauce. The Romano cheese on the fries was a nice touch. The sauce really complimented the garlic fries well, and was more than enough for two people. As a nice starter, I would recommend this before diving into the pie.
Half Prosciutto / Half Quattro Formaggi Pizza (29,000KRW): We decided to order half and half because after the fries and the brunch, we weren’t incredibly hungry. Thirty dollars for a pizza… humm.. Although I was skeptical at first, in the end it was worth the price. Unlike Crow’s Nest in Itaewon, which also charges an insane amount for pizza, I found that Brick Oven New York put the time, care and effort into their pizza. Let’s compare. Crow’s Nest was generic crap that I could have picked up at a Walmart and fired it up in my oven at home. The ingredients were stale, bland and lifeless. However, Brick Oven New York’s pizza was fresh, and it was baked perfectly. Notice the golden brown crust, and the balance of toppings on the pizza.
The Half Quattro Formaggi included Gorgonzola, Mozzarella, Romano, and Ricotta cheese with a garlic sauce instead of traditional tomato sauce. The garlic sauce was a nice change, and we really enjoyed how it tasted with the cheese. The flavors bounced off each other like a tennis ball off a brick wall.
The Prosciutto included prosciutto ham, tomato, basil, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and also had garlic sauce. The basil was fresh and worked well with the saltiness of the prosciutto. Although I’m not a fan of tomatoes, there were so many other flavors working that I didn’t notice the vile fruit. Finally the garlic sauce, once again, was a nice change from traditional tomato sauce and played with the tastebuds well. Good boy garlic sauce. My only qualm was that there wasn’t enough garlic sauce, but then again, we are garlic junkies.
Drinks – Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale (10,000KRW): Yep. The Boont Amber Ale was an eye-watering 10,000KRW per bottle. That said, it was a nice refreshing ale, that was not too hoppy. It was perfect for a warm spring day. So much so, I ordered two bottles.
Value: The whole bill came to 55,000KRW. This is the price you pay. Personally, I would go back and order a couple more pies, but I would probably withstain from ordering beer. If you are a budget traveller and you are in Gangnam, good luck my friend. You might want to avoid this place, and check out the fast food joints along the main road. However, for a good pizza, I would recommend this place as it stands now. This is definitely a restaurant to keep your eye on.
Who should visit Brick Oven New York: If you have some extra cash and you feel like a great pizza, then make your way to Gangnam. People who want a nice, comfortable environment without the usual pretentiousness of Gangnam. This would a great spot for couples and families.
Who should avoid Brick Oven New York: This might be out of some travelers budgets, especially the beer. Cheaper options include heading down to the main road of Gangnam, getting some fast food and hitting up a GS25 for a beer. Cheap eat and drinks in the trendiest part of town.