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NYC

Review

Emily

Updated on October 6th, 2021

On a recent visit to Emily in Clinton Hill, the soundtrack consisted of “F**kin Problems,” Frank Ocean songs from Channel Orange, Chief Keef’s “Love Sosa,” and Childish Gambino’s “Sweatpants.” While the playlist was probably selected by a Spotify algorithm, these tracks (all from 2014 or earlier) accurately summed up our experience at Emily.

The restaurant is stuck in the first half of the 2010s.

Let’s be clear, that’s not a bad thing. Pretzel buns cradling hefty Pat LaFrieda burgers are delicious, and Emily’s burger remains one of the best in NYC. But now, even Wendy’s has a burger with a pretzel bun on the menu.

Pepperoni, jalapeños, and hot honey on pizza make for a harmonious topping trio. And just about every slice shop and sit-down pizza place has since realized this, and added a version to their own menu. Emily’s crust is still light, though, with some satisfying leoparding crawling across the underside of the dough - making for pizza we’d happily share with a group or bring home for takeout.

When Emily does try new things, the results vary. Their birria tacos caught us by surprise when they appeared on the menu in 2020, and they turned out to be excellent. Each of the cheese and brisket-stuffed tortillas are thoughtfully charred along the edges for a havarti lace effect, allowing for a satisfying crunch with every bite. When it comes to the gochujang wings, however, the sauce isn’t well-distributed leaving them lacking in kick and flavor.

Emily is still a great place for a group dinner or a casual weeknight meal at the bar. Just don’t expect it to be the exciting restaurant that it was when it first opened.

Food Rundown

Emmy Burger

Served on a warm pretzel bun, the dry-aged beef patty comes with charred onion, melted cheddar, and dripping orange “Emmy sauce,” which tastes like the best buffalo wing sauce ever.

The Colony

Pepperoni, hot honey, jalapeños - a played-out combo that is still very delicious. As with all Emily pizzas, the crust is light with some charred leoparding spots on the crust.

Vodka

A solid vodka pie. Thin crust, crispy bottom, and gooey top.

The Emily

To enjoy the namesake pie, you better have a bit of a sweet tooth, because this pizza could pass as dessert. The white pie has pistachios, sottocenere, mozzarella, pistachios, and honey.

Birria Tacos

The smoky brisket in these tacos is juicy and tastes like it’s been slow-cooking in a pot for days. Each of the cheese-stuffed tortillas are charred along the edges. And the cup of consomme on the side is thick, oniony, and packed with endless flavor. One order comes with two massive tacos.

Nguyen’s Hot Wings

These gochujang-sauced wings are crispy, but lacking some spice and tang. The sauce distribution leaves something to be desired.

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