Let me try and fill you in on this whole debacle. Patsy Grimaldi had an uncle (who actually trained at Lombardi’s) who had a pizza place called Patsy’s in Harlem. When a group took over Patsy’s after his uncle died, Patsy was forced to change the name of his pizzeria to Grimaldi’s. Then he ended up selling Grimaldi’s, along with the rights to the name, to Frank Ciolli and decided to open up a new place in his old restaurant space (which still had the coal oven), which happened to be right next door. Despite a lawsuit filed by Ciolli, Patsy was allowed to open his pizzeria, but since he couldn’t call it Patsy’s or Grimaldi’s at this point, he named it after his mother, Juliana. Phew. Who knew pizza business could be so dramatic. Only in New York right? There’s plenty more to that story that I left out and I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re still confused because I kind of still am, but let’s get to the good part already. The pizza!
We had to wait in line for quite a while to get into Juliana’s, but in comparison, it was a lot shorter than the line at Grimaldi’s. The restaurant is very cute inside, with bistro chairs, white brick walls, black chalkboards, and of course, the big coal oven in the back. We were a group of six and decided to split three small pies so we could try a variety. We ended up ordering a white pizza, the classic margherita pizza, and the no.2 pizza, which has cherry tomatoes, Buffala mozzarella, garlic, and sea salt. We came whenever they were in the process of restoking the oven, which takes around 20 minutes or so, so that was the only reason we had to sit around a bit before getting our order.
When I took my first bite, I knew that I had found a new winner. Juliana’s Pizza is the best pizza I’ve had in a while, and truly everything you would want in a New York pizza. The crust was thin and crusty, without being overcooked or burnt, all the ingredients were fresh (seriously, such delicious mozzarella, which is made in-house!), and it was just the right ratio between all the toppings. I guess I’m not educated enough in the subtleties that make this pizza great, but they are there and you can taste the difference, despite how plain or similar to other places it may look. I wish I could use different words to explain the top notch quality of this pizza, but I’m failing. I guess that’s how you know it’s a really good place? Words fail and you just have to try it for yourself. The margherita was my favorite of the three, but a couple of my friends were obsessed the the white, and having the sea salt on the no.2 was a nice treat.
All I can really say in the end is that it was amazing. My new favorite pizza place in the city by far. And it’s in a lovely location next to the water and the Brooklyn Bridge, so even if you don’t live in Brooklyn, it’s worth making a day out of going here.
Small white pizza, small margherita pizza, small no. 2 pizza
19 Old Fulton St
Brooklyn, NY 11201