There's no disputing that even though it's relatively young, Zoli's New York Pizza in Bishop Arts is one of the city's best spots to buy a slice. After owner Jay Jerrier brought in born-and-bred New Yorker Lee Hunzinger to lead the kitchen earlier this year, the pizza there just got better. The crispy thin crusts got lighter, were cooked a little more evenly and tweaked with ingredients like chef Brian Luscher's Italian sausage to make a great product even better.
Since taking over at Zoli's, Hunzinger has introduced several new menu options. On any given day, you'll find at least one specialty pie of the day, a stromboli and maybe a chicken Parmesan wrap alongside the usual thin crust and "Grandma" style pies. Best of all are the decadent dessert rolls that Hunzinger first perfected a few years ago when he was working in New York before bringing them to the menu at Zoli's.
These yeasty rolls are the dessert equivalent of a garlic knot. The dough is much the same, but instead of garlic and butter, you'll find everyone's favorite chocolate-hazelnut spread and a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar. It's on the inside, though, where Hunzinger really makes the magic happen.
The dessert options at Zoli's are ever changing, but Nutella rolls are a pretty common fixture. Usually, you'll find his best-selling version that's stuffed with cannoli cream in homage to the original Italian classic, but sometimes he gets a little creative with ingredients that are just lying around. One roll, stuffed with a warm and caramelized chunk of banana and drizzled with melted Nutella inside and out was inspired by a co-worker who was having a banana for breakfast before their shift.
He's also been experimenting with a banana and vanilla bean mascarpone to stuff the rolls with after they've been in the oven. You'll probably want to go ahead and make plans for these Nutella rolls to be your next dessert, if only to see what other kinds of ingredients you'll find tucked inside these warm, soft, and sweet rolls. Even if you're not really an adventurous person, Hunzinger has already proven that he knows exactly how to turn yeast, flour, water and lots of Nutella into something delicious.
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