On the latest trip back to the Big Apple, the Snob set his sights on the borough of Brooklyn, and, specifically, the famous Grimaldi’s, a place said to be favored by Frank Sinatra. (Did he really send his private jet from Vegas to bring in pies?) Accompanied by The Kid, his girlfriend, and the Snob’s brother, the plan also included a walk back over the Brooklyn Bridge to burn up some of the calories we planned on amassing.
Grimaldi’s opens at noon on Saturday. We arrived at 1:00 expecting a line but not one requiring a two-hour wait! While discussing a possible plan revision, we read in a newspaper article pasted on the window of the original Grimaldi’s location that Patsy Grimaldi, the original owner of the joint, was getting back in the business in his old spot after 13 years. His place is to be called Juliana’s. The current owner of Grimaldi’s had since moved to a new larger location a few doors down. Courtesy of my new iPhone, we found a suitable and quicker alternative in Ignazio’s Pizza which was just around the corner. There was a line there as well, but it only took us about 30 minutes to get in and be seated. Goes to show that pizza is big business in Brooklyn!
Like Grimaldi’s, Ignazio’s pizza is margherita-style with a “no slices and no credit cards” policy. We opted to try both of their signature pies: the “Pizza,” or round, and the “Siciliana,” or square. The latter pie is simply a square one with thicker crust. Now, this isn’t a margherita pizza like you’d get at California Pizza Kitchen. This is the real deal as was originally created back in Italy. Made thin and cooked crispy like New York style, this pie has sliced mozzarella as opposed to shredded–with a touch of Pecorino Romano. The sauce is made from plum tomatoes and spiced with basil. (I must insert here that I started off with a chicken Caesar salad that may have had the best smoked chicken I have ever eaten.)
Conclusion: Both pies were outstanding! The sauce tasted out-of-this world delicious. I just loved the kick that the basil gave to it. The cheese was a tad oily. It also didn’t melt as smoothly as NY-style and was in some spots crumbly. But, none of this really mattered as the crispy and tasty crust folded up just right for eating in classic style. The square Siciliana was great as well and was not too thick or doughy tasting. It’s funny how the middle slices of the Siciliana were the last ones left as the crunchy outer edges of crust are the best part. I don’t think the Snob will ever change his allegiance to NY-style pie, but these are simply a must-try for any pizza lover.
Ignazio’s had the business acumen to be an alternative for those not wanting to wait on the Grimaldi’s line. But, they also had the skills to come up with top-notch pizza. With this area to soon feature three pizza joints, the Snob sees many trips beneath the Brooklyn Bridge in his future. Who knows? Maybe someday I’ll catch a short line at Grimaldi’s. But, if not, Ignazio’s will be there to make the trip worthwhile.
PIZZA SNOB RATING ***** Sets the Standard
4 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201