My friend J and I recently took a pizza making class at AOA Bar & Grill in Tribeca. Being that neither of us had ever done anything like this in the past, we were unsure of what to expect. Well, we were pleasantly surprised.

AOA describes itself as, “Soho and Tribeca’s largest restaurant and sporting gastropub”. They have a vast menu that primarily features American cuisine and wood fire pizzas, along with 25 craft beers on tap and an extensive wine selection. Nice, roomy and a great place to watch any sporting event.

We arrived a bit early, however everything was all set up. Each station (approx. 24) consisted of a metal bowl, all-purpose flour, yeast, salt, EVOO, warm water and a spoon. Once all the other participants arrived, the instructor, Robert, came out and greeted us. Robert went over the basics of what we would be doing and made a few jokes while we got prepared. He was cool, but, how can anyone wearing a chef coat and retro Js not be cool!

So now we’re ready to cook. Robert proceeds to first demonstrate what we should be doing to prepare the pizza dough and then we should follow suit. OK, did I ever tell y’all that I cook really well but anything where flour and water is concerned, not so much? Well, this is one of those moments…

Mix all the dry ingredients first, then add the water,  the EVOO, mix and it should all add up to a stiff ball of dough that easily pulls away from the walls of the bowl, BUT, make sure to NOT over-work it…HUH? Next, kneed it, separate it in 3 sections and form them in to 3 perfect little smooth balls… Say what now?

Of course, mine looked like that paste you make in elementary school and I had to call for assistance. J on the other hand, got it and wanted to clown my dough. That was just RUDE!

Now, the next course of action is to, with the tips of your fingers work the dough ball out into an evenly round disc. I really don’t know why Robert was asking for so much…I mean really. THEN, to add insult to injury, he tells us, in order to get it thin, to toss the dough around on our fingertips in the AIR…WTH? Again, here goes the over achiever J, she was all about that funky fresh pizza dough toss life until…Yep, you guessed it, her dough hit the floor. I snickered on the inside (yes I was hatin’, I couldn’t do it…) Also, if you DO happen to over-work your dough, don’t fret, you can make garlic knots

Time to make our creations! Calzones… Robert brings out this nicely made batch of pizza dough (I was thinking, after all this struggling, you really just gonna diss my dough like that? Really? Ok, I probably didn’t want to eat it anyway but that’s not really the point) and fresh toppings. Of course we OD’d on the toppings and could barely close our calzones. It’s what happens when you’re greedy LOL

Notice how our Calzones look compared to the others… #TeamFatAssFatties

Sidebyside

Because of the extremely high temp of the wood fire oven, they literally cooked in about 2-3 minutes. After they were done there was EVOO, fresh Basil and marinara sauce to top them with. Once again, we OD’d…We like sauce, so sue us!

Overall, it was a really entertaining, encompassing experience, meaning, it included everything. We got to learn how to make pizza from scratch, it was fun as all get out and there was plenty of food and drinks.

The classes are held on Sat. & Sun., from either 11am – 1pm or 1:30pm – 3:30pm and you can make reservations online. This is a good class for singles, couples or “just friends”.

AOA Bar & Grill
35 Ave. of the Americas (6th Ave.)
New York, NY 10013
212-925-1600
http://www.aoabarandgrill.com
 

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