Monday, September 2, 2013


Coal fired pizza restaurants in NYC are very rare. If you have an existing one, then you're in luck. If not, too bad. So when Patsy and Carol Grimaldi set out to reclaim their throne in the pizza world (after selling off Grimaldi's Pizzeria and its namesake), I was anxious to try what they've come back for after so many years. They situated themselves in the original Grimaldi's location while that pizzeria moved down the block. The name of the new place is Julianna's named after Patsy's mother. I like the sound of things already.

After a long walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, we stood in line for about 10 minutes before we sat down for food. Starving, we ordered some salad to start before our pies came to the table. We had the Hearts of Romaine Caesar Salad with green olives ($13; not pictured). Clean, refreshing, though creamy from the dressing and tangy brininess from the olives.

And now onto the pizza. We started with a couple of pies from the menu then created our own. This is a simple Margherita Pizza (large $19). Tomato, mozzarella, and basil. Can't get any more classic and simple than that. But it was delicious. The sweetness of the tomato sauce, the creaminess of the cheese, and the hint of herbaceousness from the basil. The crust was crunchy and held the toppings well. It wasn't thick but not paper thin either. It was a classic NYC crust.
For our 2nd pie, we chose their special No. 1 (large $30) which is a white pizza with homemade mozzarella, scamorza affumicata (a smokey cheese), pancetta (unsmoked bacon), scallions, and truffle oil. Another good pie though this one was much heavier with the 2 cheeses. The smokiness of the scamorza paired well with the mild milkiness of the mozzarella, the saltiness of the pancetta, and the light punch from the scallions. Texturally, this was softer but again the crust held up well.
Our 3rd and last pizza was our own creation using the Margherita Pizza (large $19) with pepperoni (+$3) and mushrooms (+$3). Here they used a mix of shiitake and cremini mushrooms. Beats white button mushrooms any day. Pepperoni and mushrooms is my go to pizza. So this was a good judge on the quality versus other pizza I've had. And the verdict? Excellent. They were generous with the toppings but not overly so. The amount of cheese, sauce, pepperoni, and mushrooms was well balanced. I enjoyed the slight spiciness of the pepperoni and the earthiness of the mushrooms. It worked really well here. And once again, crust held up really nicely.
I really enjoyed my meal at Julianna's. And now the golden ticket question: was it better than Grimaldi's? It's hard to say because the pizzas are slightly different in style. But if I had to pick (and please remember it's been years since I've been to Grimaldi's and I certainly have not been to their new location down the street) I would pick Julianna's because the crust was a bit more charred to my liking and the toppings were spread out better.

19 Old Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201


  1. I was wondering if anyone whose opinion I trust has been to Julianna's. I've only passed by (since Smorgasburg is right there). Was the Grimaldi's line much longer?

    It's as if Julianna's is a local's place and we can leave Grimaldi's to the unknowing tourists...

    1. The Grimaldi's line was no longer than Julianna's line.


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