Covo Trattoria Pizzeria, By Mara L.

Copyright 2009 Jens Haas -

A year ago or so, Jens sent me an email saying that Harlem now has a pizzeria that is quite like a place in Berlin. If you’ve ever been to Berlin, you’ll know that the subway runs partly underground, and partly on an elevated construction. Beautiful pre-war industrial architecture, and a great way to get a feel for the city.

And here’s the cultural analogy. In some strange and unexpected way, Harlem is like Eastern Berlin. The steel constructions of the Manhattan subway at 125th street are a place where you can perceive it. Sadness and the will to have fun. The presence of bygone times and the ubiquity of change. Something like that.

And what’s better than a great pizza place underneath these testimonials of modernist thought? The place in Berlin is called the Zwölf Apostel (Twelve Evangelists) in Mitte. Arguably, it’s a little bit touristy. But still, to be praised for reliably good pizza.

Anyway, back to Manhattan. I finally went to the place that Jens had mentioned: Covo Pizzeria, at Riverside Viaduct Drive and 135th. They serve a fine pizza, brick oven and everything. Thin, authentic, hearty. Everything comes on beautifully painted plates. You’ll almost forget that you didn’t make it to the Maremma this summer. Quite an achievement. Anyway, sitting there after a walk in Riverside Park will make you happy, and less homesick for Europe. For this, the place gets my high recommendation, four stars ****.