Celebrity chef Waldy Malouf has undertaken a few restaurant ventures in the past decade or so. He’s even written food books. Among the restaurants he’s opened is Waldy’s wood-fired pizzeria, located in the Flatiron district on 6th Avenue. Waldy’s is a hole-in-the-wall with some of the best thin-crust pizza I’ve ever had. I’m lucky enough to work right by there…or is that a curse? I can’t tell. Nonetheless, the wonder of Waldy’s generated certain expectations for High Heat, Malouf’s latest.
Going with the wood-fired oven feature, just as Waldy’s has, High Heat is found down in Greenwich Village, on Bleecker Street, among many bars and Qdobas. It has the same “order at the bar, find a seat” set-up as Waldy’s, which I can’t stand. I feel very insecure in places like this–like, I’m going to order and get all excited about the food, but then I won’t have anywhere to sit. But the food, if you can find a seat to eat it in, makes up for the poor arrangement.
I think our experience of High Heat was tinged by the presence of a bunch of drunken Santas roaming the streets and finding their way into High Heat, just to interrupt our dinner. But the food persevered!
We had a Groupon, which afforded us a hamburger, a pizza, two orders of fries and a carafe of white wine. High Heat serves all of its alcoholic beverages on tap (and the sodas have fountain spigots to pour from), which is a nice feature of the place–no bottles to recycle.
I ordered a cheddar burger and MDP ordered the margherita pizza. We got an order of garlic fries and an order of parmesan fries. And, of course, the carafe of wine was a nice addition to the meal.
All in all, the food was delicious. The pizza was crisp (though not as crisp as Waldy’s pies) with fresh ingredients such as sliced cherry tomatoes and basil sprinkled on top. The burger had a wonderful char on it which infused every bite. I put mayo and the tomato, lettuce and pickles that came with the burger on top. It was a delightful experience. The fries were amazing! So firm and crunchy and crispy were they! Featuring shaved parmesan on top, the parmesan fries were my favorite, while the garlic-inflected fries won over MDP.
Minus the drunken Santas, our (boozy) experience at High Heat was fantastic. I recommend trying it out, especially if you tend to favor pizza and burgers. High Heat will make it hard for you to choose which to order–but I recommend getting both!
154 Bleecker Street (by Thompson Street)
Greenwich Village, New York
Take the 6 to Bleecker Street and walk west.