Grimaldi’s has been hailed as one of the best pizza places in New York. In fact Zagats has awarded them this honor nearly six times. The owner of Grimaldis’s is Patsy Grimaldi and he is no stranger to pizza and pizza places. He learned the art of making a good pizza from Patsy Lancieri. Patsy Lancieri learned the art from none other than Gennaro Lombardi who opened Lombardi’s in 1905 and was coined the first pizzeria in America.
Grimaldi’s only use the freshest ingredients on their pizza. In fact they import most of their ingredients in from Italy. They have a limited selection on toppings and stick to the basics which is nice. They make their own dough and sauce daily. Employees at Grimaldi’s are taught by Patsy Grimaldi himself that the dough is one of the most important aspects to making a good pizza. When it comes to the flour for the dough, they do not skimp on it and buy the best that money can buy.
However what makes Grimaldi’s pizza one of the best pizzas in New York is their crust. Grimaldi’s crust has a smoky flavor and the bottom of it is usually black which everyone loves. This is the reason why you will usually find a line out the door on nights and weekends. The line moves fast though especially because they can make nearly 100 pies in the course of a half hour.
The secret of this pizza is a great coal fire brick oven. Patsy Grimaldi believes he is one of the last true “old timers” who know how important this oven can be. Grimaldi’s bakes its pizza at 850F and there are not many gas and electric ovens that can get that hot. This coal oven is what gives the crust the crispiness and smoky taste. Thanks to this oven, Grimaldi’s pizza bake in four in five minutes and he claims that knowing and understanding the brick oven is the secret to producing a great pie.
Do not expect to find any slices here. Grimaldi’s believe that a pizza is to be enjoyed whole and not just buy the slice. Most people do not complain because the pies are so thin and light tasting that they can eat more of it then they would a “normal” type of pizza.
Their staff is not just any ordinary staff. You will not find just anyone working here. Most of the staff members have to have at least three years of experience working in Brooklyn before Grimaldi will allow them to work in either of his two stores. He has a store also in Hoboken and that store always has a coal fire brick oven. Many people ask why he didn’t open up a location in Manhattan. The answer is simple; Manhattan will not allow any coal fire brick ovens. So instead of risking his reputation as having the best pizza in New York, he opened a much needed second location.
Grimaldi’s is located just under the Brooklyn Bridge. If you are ever in the area and get a craving for some really good pizza, this is the place to go.