Dining Out: Pizzeria offers authentic taste of NYC

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Why: Owner Makhan Singh spent more than 16 years in New York before bringing his recipes to Vancouver and opening up NYC Pizzeria about five years ago. Singh's pizzas start with house-made dough and a special sauce. From there, the pizzas are topped with various flavor personalities, stone baked and served up New York-style. Beyond pizza, the restaurant is frequented by Gyro sandwich fans who come to satisfy their craving. Recently added to the menu are cannoli, the ingredients of which are shipped from the East Coast and assembled for diners.

Atmosphere: A comfortable shade of light tan on the walls creates a foundation for a painted black city skyline punctuated by the Statue of Liberty and accented with mirror tiles and a red border. Seating consists of tables and chairs atop an attractive laminate floor. Plants add some additional color and large windows allow ample amounts of natural light into the restaurant.

What I tried: I decided on the gyro sandwich and a green salad, requesting the red onions be omitted from both. My dining companion settled on the daily 2-slice lunch combo that includes two cheese pizza slices and a medium drink (served until 3 p.m.). He asked that pepperoni be added to one of the slices. For dessert, we tried the cannoli.

All the food was very straightforward in presentation.

My salad consisted of dark green lettuce, big chunks of tomato and olives slices. It was fresh and satisfying.

The gyro sandwich was served in warm pita bread and had a generous amount of seasoned meat in it that tasted onion-y and similar to sausage. Fresh chopped lettuce and tomatoes were added, and Singh's homemade gyro sandwich sauce was drizzled over the ingredients before being wrapped in a napkin and foil pocket for eating.

My dining companion was pleased with the pizza, stating that the crust had a crisp underbelly which gave way to a soft top that wasn't too soft for his liking. Cheese was added in reasonable amounts, keeping it from being too greasy, and the pepperoni was mild.

The cannoli dessert consists of three individual cannolo. Petite in size, each crispy fried pastry tube is filled with a sweet cream confection and chocolate bits. Although their claim to fame is ingredients that are shipped from the East Coast, I didn't find them as tasty as Di Tazza's cannoli.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried: Other new menu items include stromboli and calzones. A salad bar has been added, as well. The traditional meatball parmesan sandwich sounded delicious, and the spinach pie appetizer intriguing.

Other observations: NYC Pizzeria offers take-n-bake pizza, as well as a gluten-free crust.

Bread for many of the sandwiches is made in-house.

4G WiFi is available.

This restaurant is impressively clean and tidy, and strictly adheres to health standards -- as evidenced by their spotless history of perfect health scores.

Service was polite, friendly and relatively fast.

Cost: Salads come in full and side sizes and range in price from $3 to $5.75. Hot sandwiches are $6 to $7.50. Signature pizzas with meat come in four sizes for $11.50 to $27.00, Vegetarian pizzas are $11 to $27, and cheese only by-the-slice costs $2.25. You may also create your own pizza from a basic cheese from at $9 to $18, with toppings for an additional $1.25 to $2.50. Pasta dishes, calzones, and stromboli are $6.50 to $8.95. Buffalo or BBQ wings are $7.50 for 10 pieces and $13.50 for 20 pieces.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Where: 700 S.E. Chkalov Drive, No. 1, Vancouver.

Web:http://www.nycpizzeria-van.com

Telephone: 360-882-7670.

Health score: NYC Pizzeria received a score of 0 on Nov 30. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants that score 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.