For some strange reason I’ve gotten five requests in the past few weeks for a recipe for the “pizza bread” served at Orso, a restaurant in the theater district of Manhattan. Even weirder, last year around this time I also got a bunch of requests for the same bread. Nobody has said it was a particularly Eastery type of bread, so both flurries of requests baffle me. I’ve never tasted Orso’s pizza bread, and I can only imagine it must be something extremely special. Last year, when the first round of requests came in, I emailed Orso’s kitchen and management several times to see if they might help me out. No response. I even got bold and gave the restaurant a call, but I got a major runaround (very secretive, those people who work there). On the menu “pizza bread” is described as being served either of two ways, with olive oil and rosemary or with olive oil and garlic. How complicated could that be? So I took a stab at it and worked out what I thought was a very good recipe for a type of crisp, somewhat flat focaccia. A reader told me it wasn’t exactly right.
Just to address all my readers who have recently written to me about this bread, if I could sneak in and grab a few slices of this obviously amazing pizza bread and flee, I would do so and come up with a recipe that would definitely be closer, but that does seem quite sleazy. Still, I want you to know that I will try harder this time to wrestle the recipe from Orso, and if I do obtain the grand document, I will post it (with their permission, of course). Could it be that they just buy the stuff and don’t want anyone to know?