If you are as obsessed with finding great pizza as I am, you need to make the trek out to Paulie Gees in Greenpoint. The story behind this much-hyped Neopolitian joint is damn interesting - and the pizza does not disappoint.
Paulie spent 30 years working some day job with computers, but now we know he was secretly dreaming of starting his own pizza restaurant. Obsessed with pizza, he went anywhere he heard it was good, documenting each slice on his Flickr account. Then he build a Nepalese-style wood fired oven in his backyard in Jersey, and hosted pizza-making parties for food bloggers. After perfecting a few mind-blowing flavor combos, he quit his day job and went pro.
Now, he seems to make the rounds each night, talking to guests to check on their meals.
Now to the pizza itself . . .
Invited by our excellent friends, Brad and Anna, we ordered 4 pies to share (think personal pie), along with a bottle of sparkling red (which I learned is the traditional pizza wine in Naples).
Pictured from left to right:
Red, White And Greenberg - Fior di Latte, Berkshire Guanciale, House Pickled Red Onions and a Baby Arugula Garnish. I would not have ordered this on my own, but the pickled red onions make it an exceptional pie. With the peppercorn, it’s a spicey, sweet combination that I won’t soon forget. The onions are nice and juicy so the sweet vinegar taste hits your palette last. On my personal scorecard, this was a close second to …
The Cherry Jones - Fior di Latte, Gorgonzola Cheese, Prosciutto di Parma, Dried Bing Cherries and Orange Blossom Honey. This was my favorite. The cherries and Gorgonzola are an amazing combination. Be sure to order this one if you go.
The Delboy - Fior di Latte, Italian Tomatoes, Berkshire Sopressata Picante and Parmigiano Reggiano. This was the most traditional of those we ordered. Delicious tomatoes, and the sopressata will make you want to shun peperoni for life. (Paulie refuses to serve pepperoni - for obvious reasons once you’ve tried the Delboy).
The Greenpointer - Fior di Latte, Baby Arugula, Olive Oil, Fresh Lemon Juice and Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano. This was a big hit, hence no slices left to photograph. The Lemon and arugula makes a great bitter-sweet combo. I preferred the other three to this, but still very, very good.
Overall, if you like all kinds of pizza, you don’t want to miss Paulie Gees for his eclectic favor combinations. In terms of best overall slice, he can’t compete with DiFara’s of Lucali’s but he isn’t trying to. His pies are way less oily and way less cheesey, but still powerfully tasty.
Great ambiance, with Brooklyn austere-hip decor, and six point on tap. If you are lucky, you can watch them slide each pizza into the amazing Nepalese wood-fired oven.
If you can’t handle the G train, it’s easy to park. Just one block from the East River, so bonus views for those who take the time to look.