When Slice Perfect opened a few years back I went to the Upper East Side location to check it out. I thought they had decent allergen-protocol and cared about their customers but the pizza needed some work.
Here’s part of my 2007 review: "To me, the Slice Perfect plain pizza with house-made marinara sauce and rice cheese on rice flour based crust reminded me of Stouffer’s frozen French Bread pizzas that I used to eat when I was a kid [made in the toaster over, yum]. The rice crust dough, when cooled, was hard and gummy but not un-tasty... The cheese, when cooled, tasted as fake …[and the] sauce was salty, too orange, thin, and did I mention really salty?”
A lot can happen in three years.
A few weeks ago, one of the Slice Perfect owners, Miki, reached out to let me know, “...we JUST launched our new amazing gluten-free pizza crust after four hard months of testing and re-testing and adding a few key ingredients (like potato flour)!” Lissa, of Worry-Free Dinners, and I went in for a tasting courtesy of Slice Perfect. We sat down and had a two hour long chat with the GM Nina, a superstar about allergies and intolerances and about their new menu.
Slice Perfect, both locations are organic, tree-nut free and have gluten-free, dairy-free options. They make a seasonal peanut butter cookie (in the West Village location only) for both outposts so they are not peanut-free but are very careful about handling peanuts and are aware of the cross contamination risks. The other seasonal dessert they make is a nut-free, vegan, gluten-free brownie. I didn’t try either, I went straight for the gluten-free pizza and the new crust.
Nina told us that GF crust is made in a separate part of the kitchen with separate utensils and pans, however, the same oven is used for both GF and non-GF items. Slice’s GF crust contains the following: rice flour, cornstarch, potato starch among other GF ingredients. And Nina, as per my suggestion, is working on a recipe book available to all patrons upon request. Yay, Slice Perfect.
Lissa and I taste tested four types of the pizza: the intermediate goat cheese, the master sausage, the taste of India and the nut-free novice pesto. All were really delicious. The chicken sausage is made in-house and GF and mild. The chana masala had a well-rounded curry flavor. The nut-free pesto made me nervous just because so many pestos are nut-filled (even though I knew Slice Perfect had no tree-nuts anywhere). But Nina brought out the recipe cards for me to read and I dove in. The basil was fresh tasting and we tried it with the soy and dairy free Diaya cheese (made from tapioca), a nice alternative. But my fave was the intermediate with the sweet honey shallot vinaigrette, arugula, goat cheese and a tomato-y sauce.
Now to the crust, it’s softer, with some give. When it cools it stays soft (not killer hard like that last one). The flavor is right on, no gluten-free weird aftertaste that you can get with some dough, no bean taste like in the garfava versions made elsewhere. It’s an herby crust with some heat from the pepper flakes. Our pizza was a bit thicker in the center and therefore a bit raw (ack) but the edges were perfect and when I returned a second time on my own dime, with no warning, the pizza was done perfectly all the way through.
Overall, I believe Slice Perfect's commitment to its patrons, whether gluten-free, vegan, organic, allergic or Joe off the street, has strengthened and deepened over the last few years. They are transparent about ingredients and processes, and seem knowledgeable about making their kitchens as safe as they can.
If you’re thinking about going, call ahead, ask to speak with Nina who’s the general manager or Miki, one of the owners. Tell them I sent you.
Slice Perfect West Village
535 Hudson Street (Perry/Charles)
New York, NY 10014
P. 212 929 2920
F. 212 929 2987