10 Great Pizza Places in NYC
by Katherine Faw Morris, New York Observer contributor, 01/16/2009
9. Grimaldi's Pizzeria
19 Old Fulton St. • 718-858-4300
It's easy to forget that Grimaldi's has only been open since 1990, as it feels like a multi-generational institution. There are the tourists lined up patiently outside. There's the ornery no slices/no delivery/no plastic mandate. And there's the coal oven that founder Patsy Grimaldi shirked pesky Manhattan environmental laws to build by planting it just under the far side of the Brooklyn Bridge. The lineage is undeniably classic, though—Grimaldi is the nephew of Patsy's founder Patsy Lancieri, with whom he began to train in 1941 at age 10—and so is the pizza. Fired at a blistering-hot 850 degrees, the thin-crust pies nail the traditional New York style. The total melt of fresh mozzarella, crushed tomato, basil and grated cheese on slightly charred dough is best consumed one-handed, folded in half. A smattering of toppings are available for augmentation, including tender house-roasted sweet peppers. The menu is fleshed out with an antipasti plate, calzones and cannolis, but the red-checked easy-wipe tablecloths, a wall of Frank Sinatra memorabilia, and a Godfather poster ("I'm gonna make you a pizza you can't refuse") are really only suited for one possible order. The waiters may be suspiciously Russian, but the pizza is pure Italian-American New York, from tip to crust.
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