Vintage New York dining: retro-style restaurants
Step back in time and fill up on classic dishes with these new retro-style restaurants in New York City.
Tue May 7 2013
Photograph: Jessica Lin
Legendary pizzaiolo Patsy Grimaldi reenters the pie-peddling ring, reclaiming his original shop near the Dumbo waterfront. The 81-year-old dough-tossing maestro—who began training under his uncle Patsy Lancieri at age 13—sold the Grimaldi’s name and space to longtime customer Frank Ciolli 15 years ago. Ciolli moved his operation to a building next door after a rent dispute in 2011, making room for Patsy Grimaldi’s triumphant comeback: a 65-seat pizza parlor named after his late mother.
The digs: While the reboot boasts a few modern fixtures—dark-wood tables, etched-metal pendant lamps—there’s still plenty of old New York charm. A Wurlitzer-style jukebox plays Grimaldi’s favorite Frank Sinatra tunes—a black-and-white portrait of Ol’ Blue Eyes hangs on the wall—and red-trimmed chalkboards list factoids about the Grimaldi clan, such as wife Carol’s favorite pie (the No. 2, made with mozzarella, ricotta and garlic) and Juliana’s hometown (Melfi, Italy). Grimaldi’s 23-year-old coal-fired oven is also back in action, spruced up with new red bricks.
The grub: The seven thin-crust rounds—pulled from the 800-degree hearth—live up to the octogenarian pizza-maker’s storied reputation. A classic Margherita (small $16, large $19), with its chewy, slightly scorched crust, is finished with a tangy sauce, stretchy pads of house-made mozzarella and a handful of just-wilted basil—add fennel-spiced sausage ($3) for an extra kick. Desserts include a raspberry chocolate-chunk ice cream made by nearby Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. 19 Fulton St between Front and Water Sts, Dumbo, Brooklyn (718-596-6700, julianaspizza.com)
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