How A New York City Pizza Place Is Using Tech To Improve The Dining Experience [PHOTOS]

Pizza Vinoteca isn’t your typical pizza place. The restaurant, which opened in March just off of New York City’s Union Square, is taking a high-tech approach to creating quality pizza, with features like an army of iPads and a system that can calculate your wait time.

“There are three aspects to our restaurant, as you can see by our name: pizza, wine, and technology,” Pizza Vinoteca CEO Ari Malcolm said to Business Insider during a recent trip to the restaurant. “We really try to take the technology and not only make it more useful for operations, but also have it be as user-friendly for guests as possible.”

The food is delicious, too, with interesting combinations like a shrimp pizza topped with green zucchini and yellow squash, and a meatball pizza served with kale pesto. The infrared grill gives the pizza a crunch that’s a distinctly modern take on the traditional Italian dish.

When you enter the restaurant, you'll see a bank of touchscreens.

The restaurant has a custom app to streamline the process of ordering food for takeout.

As you scroll down, you'll see descriptions and prices for each of the menu items. There are four categories of pizza, a selection of salads and paninis, plus bombolini and gelato floats for dessert.

If you'd prefer to order from an old-school menu, there's one on the wall by the entrance.

Once you make your decision, you'll see your name pop up on the screens above where you ordered. The system can update your meal's progress depending on what ingredients your pizza has and how many other people ordered at the same time.

The order immediately gets sent to the chef on the other side of the bank of screens. I was impressed with how quickly they received our orders, within a matter of seconds.

The chefs worked on two pizzas: the house pizza, which was made with tomato, fontina, mozzarella, and basil, and the jowlciale pizza, served with spicy chilli pesto, fontina, pistachios, and honey.

This one looks like it's ready to be cooked.

The pizzas are cooked on a 16-burner grill rather than in a more traditional pizza oven. Infrared heat coming from the top of the grill gives the pizza a texture that is both crispy and chewy.

The grill also uses hickory wood chips to give the pizza a unique, smoky flavour.

After a few finishing touches, the two pizzas are ready to go, and they look great.

A chef puts one of the pizzas in a takeout box.

A fancy Nespresso machine makes a variety of coffee drinks on-command.

For cocktails, they use liquor aged in these oak barrels.

There's a decent selection of local craft beers as well.

Upstairs, you'll see a more formal dining area, with large overhead windows that let in plenty of light.

Pizza Vinoteca has 36 wines by the glass, separated by colour categories and cased in a high-tech Enomatic wine dispenser.

The Enomatic wine dispenser keeps each bottle chilled at the appropriate temperature and seals it using argon gas. The gas acts as a preservative, allowing the restaurant to use its wine more efficiently.

To find out more about the wines, you can check an app on one of the iPads at your table. It will tell you more about where the wine come, what grapes were used, as well as which menu items would pair well with each.

Once you make a decision, you can add it to your tab. The items you and the rest of your party order show up in the right-hand column.

Each seat has a slot for an iPad.

And they keep all 60 of the iPads stored here when they're not in use.

The wait staff also uses the iPads to manage reservations and seatings. Guests can even sign their checks using either the tablet or a separate iPod touch.

On the way out, we noticed this lit-up wall, a reference to the eight kinds of wine we saw upstairs.

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