Greenpointer pizza at Paulie Gee's
RECOMMENDED: Complete New York pizza guide
OTHER NOMINEES:Best Pizza, La Pizza & Pasta at Eataly, Rubirosa
Italian heavyweights (La Pizza & Pasta at Eataly), Staten Island imports (Rubirosa) and scrappy hipster upstarts (Best Pizza) have burst onto the city's exploding pizza scene, but you chose the unlikeliest of contenders—a restaurant on the fringes of Greenpoint, tended by a 57-year-old IT-professional-turned-pizzaiolo—as the destination for New York's top new pie. Paul Giannone, whose passion was ignited at Totonno's 16 years ago, spun his amateur enthusiasm into a pro-level gig when he opened this rustic tavern. The hand-built, wood-burning oven, artisanal fior di latte, bright, fresh tomato sauce and pillowy, Neapolitan-style crust—chewy and scorched in all the right places—are testaments to the years he spent calibrating his craft. But it's the artistry in Giannone's offbeat toppings (Bacon Marmalade, anisette creme) that propelled him ahead of the dough-twirling pack. 60 Greenpoint Ave between Franklin and West Sts, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (347-987-3747, pauliegee.com)
The simple tavern—outfitted with patterned wallpaper and a massive, seven-foot-long crystal chandelier—sports a traditional menu of tapas and shareable plates. Expect 16 house-made salsas and dishes like tostada de pulpo (octopus with spicy chipotle sauce on a crispy shell) and corneta pato (a long crispy taco stuffed with duck confit). Serious sippers, take note: Twenty-five artisanal, small-batch tequilas and mescals (including Pierde Almas and Antiguo Herradura) are on display behind the large oak bar, which also features six South of the Border beers on tap.
Venue says: “Come try our amazing array of fresh Signature Spicy Salsas! Unlike any other salsas and so popular we are launching a salsa line, 303 Salsas”