Pizza is arguably the most competitive food category in New York, but Juliana's rules the city’s pie scene, so, naturally, we invited it to hold court at Time Out Market New York. Learn how our market curation works here, but basically we tasted its food, reviewed the restaurant and, ultimately, recommended Juliana's for a coveted spot. Here’s why:
Patsy Grimaldi is nothing short of a New York icon. After learning how to make pizza from his uncle who owned Patsy’s Pizzeria, he went on to open Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in Brooklyn. The pizza mogul sold his shop to retire in the late 90’s, but came out of retirement at the age of 81 in 2012 when Grimaldi’s new owners moved the restaurant next door, leaving his original shop vacant. So be it the story of how Juliana’s was born, Patsy’s next chapter in his book of ‘za.
The parlor still draws a crowd and there’s a clear reason why: It’s some of the best pizza in town (and that’s a strong statement in the city of Gotham). Be sure to plan ahead because there is always a line looping outside the front door with hungry diners eyeing down seated patrons to eat faster. But when you do make your way through the front door, who is standing there but Patsy Grimaldi, the octogenarian pizzaiolo himself, ready to escort you to your table.
While we can talk about the nostalgia of their stellar egg creams or the fact that their pasta fagioli tastes just like Nonna used to make, we’d rather spend our time talking about the flawless pies. All eyes are glued to the kitchen watching dough fly through the air as the talented chefs prepare blistered, thin-crust pizzas in the classic coal-fire oven.
A simple margherita hits all the right notes with simple crushed tomato, bubbling mozzarella and verdant basil. The No. 1 is anything but simple, creating a complex combination of heavenly toppings: mozzarella, smokey scamorza affumicata, pancetta, scallions and oregon-grown white truffles in olive oil. (If you’re feeling wild, you can even crack an egg on top.)
The slice is right at Juliana’s and we hope Mr. Grimaldi doesn’t plan to retire again anytime soon.