My search for the best pizza in New York continues….
Nick Morgenstern has created quite the little restaurant empire of late. Just in the last year, he’s opened a coffee/sandwich café (El Rey), an avant garde ice cream shop (Morgenstern’s), and now a pizza-focused restaurant – all in the Lower East Side. Each of his concepts have garnered press and lots of crowds. He either has a great PR team or he subscribes to the Field of Dreams school of thought. If you build it, they will come.
However, I guess not enough people came to his previous restaurant Goat Town. It has been replaced by his newest venture, GG’s. Now the star attraction of this bright open parlor is the pizza.
We came for brunch, when the crowds were moderate. I was tempted by some of the pies that featured egg or breakfast sausage or something else brunchy. But I leaned on the lunch side of things and went with their signature Grandma Pie.
Now grandma-style is a very misunderstood style and I’m not sure I even understand, but I can tell you the gigantic pie they served me at GG’s was not what we commonly call “grandma’s.” Normally, grandma is a decently thin slice that is covered with a tangy, garlicky fresh tomato sauce and cooked in a square shape in a pan.
The gigantic pie that was placed down in front of me at GG’s was a misnomer. It was much closer in look, flavor, and thickness to a Sicilian pie. The only thing that really seemed to put it into the grandma category was the crispness of the dough and the square shape.
Most strikingly was the dark red tomato sauce. I believe they were probably made from fresh tomatoes but they were cooked down so much with lots of tomato paste that it was hard to tell. It was well-spiced, but didn’t make me think “light” and “fresh” as is usually the case with grandma pizza.
That being said, the flavors were good and hearty. Crisp spiced pepperoni slices played nicely with that intense tomato sauce and it was all capped by a charred, crisp dough and lots of cheese.
I did like the pizza, but I could only have about two slices before I reached capacity. Certainly not as heavy as Chicago-style pizza, but it was almost like a casserole. You now understand where the term pizza pie comes from.
I’m sure GG’s will be a hit and I’m curious to try some of their other pizza concoctions (like the Ebony and Ivory with ricotta cheese and blood sausage). Danny Meyer better watch his back.
Is GG’s the best pizza in NY? The name grandma-style is a misnomer since this pizza is far from light or fresh-tasting. As a gut-busting, flavor bomb, it does work on quite a few levels – just not with the name. 8 out of 10.
|511 East 5th Street (between Avenue A and Avenue B),