Patsy is back and is exacting a slice of revenge! At age 80, Patsy Grimaldi has come out swinging. Taking over the old Grimaldi's location on Old Fulton Street in DUMBO, and control of its coal-fired oven. The new spot is named after Patsy's mom, Juliana. And let's just say mama would be very proud and Grimaldi's should be very worried.
First off, the restaurant itself is beautiful. It is bright and airy. Tables are not packed tightly. Elegant lighting and an old Wurlitzer jukebox (which is cranks out Sinatra tunes) adding to the ambiance. The service is also wonderful. Friendly, but not overbearing. The centerpiece, however, is that red hot, coal-fired oven, which at a constant 800-to-1,000 degrees can bake a whole pie in under two minutes flat.
Our meal began with a plate of crispy calamari. Golden brown on the outside, moist and tender on the inside. Add a splash of lemon, and a dip into some marinara sauce, and you really couldn't ask for more. You will also find a nice selection of salads, some topped with goat cheese and walnuts, others with feta and Kalamata olives. But the bulk of the menu is dedicated to one thing and one thing only - pizza. Let's face it. That is what you are coming here for and, let me be the first to say, Juliana's makes one heck of a pie.
First, choose a pie. There is a traditional Margherita topped with the fresh mozarella, tomato sauce and basil, or the Marinara pie with tomato and garlic. Then build it from there. We counted 19 different toppings. There are homemade meatballs, buffalo mozzarella, anchovies and roasted peppers to name a few. We split our pie down the middle. One side was covered with lightly toasted slices of pepperoni, while the other had some of the best fennel sausage that I've tasted in quite some time. The crust was nice and thin and perfectly charred. Each slice smothered with housemade mozzarella and ample amounts of fresh tomato sauce. We made it through half a pie and were perfectly content to take a few slices home for a delicious snack later
Juliana's is also offering its own special pizza combinations. There is a white pie made with mozzarella, ricotta and garlic, and another topped with brocoli rabe and sausage. Yet another version comes with smoked salmon, marscapone, capers, sliced tomato and red onion. Pies run from $15 to $27. Toppings are extra.
Desserts include Carol's cannolis and raspberry chocolate chunk ice cream made special by the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. We took home some jumbo DUMBO chocolate chip cookies that were warm and gooey. Sweet... just like Juliana's!
Review By: Thomas Rafael