Pizza place: Grimaldi's, 119 Main Street, 845/255-3800
Ordered by: phone
Promised pickup time: 6:28
Actual pickup time: 6:54
Pizza ordered: plain cheese pie
Other food: salad
Meal price: $24.00
Atmosphere: Grimaldi's is focused on providing a restaurant experience for pizza eating, and does not offer delivery. One of the New Paltz Examiner's pizza posse was willing to pick up a pie for review, however, and she had plenty of time to take some notes about the newest pizza place in New Paltz while she was waiting.
The pizza was ordered on the first Saturday of the college season, so the place was packed with people. The staff was struggling to keep up with the volume; there was a lot of confusion, and lost orders abounded. The pickup area isn't well-marked, and names aren't taken with phone orders, so it's not hard to imagine why. The wait staff was friendly and responsible, something that our on-site reporter had ample time to observe; the pizza which was promised to be ready at 6:28 made it into the oven 13 minutes later.
Pizza review: Grimaldi's as a chain is known for thin, crispy-crusted pizza. The pizzas which rolled out of the oven were all crisp; our on-site observer saw a number that appeared unevenly cooked. In fact, the one which arrived home had dark brown burns on one edge of the crust. The sauce and cheese were applied unevenly to the pie.
Before even looking at the pizza, however, it took a moment to marvel at the packaging. Rather than a tradition pizza box, Grimaldi's provided a brown paper bag for bringing the pizza home in. Surprisingly, this didn't lead to a mangled meal, as the pictures attest.
Appearance aside, the pizza was tasty. They use an excellent mix of cheeses and the sauce was tangy and flavorful. The thin crust made folding the slices easy, but it also made them more likely to sag when they were picked up. No shirts were harmed in the review of this pizza.
Open ownership question: According to local staff, Grimaldi's is associated with the other pizza places by that name, but this fact was unable to be verified by the corporate headquarters in time for this review. The location is co-owned by Adam Mandeverde and Frank Ciolli, the former of whom confirmed that they are is affiliated with the chain made famous in Brooklyn and out west. Ciolli is also the family name of the company president, who forwarded inquiries to a marketing manager who offered to “explain the relationship” over the phone (but would not via reply email); the conversation was not able to take place before press time. The New Paltz location is not listed on the main site or the New York-area web page; it's also not listed on the Facebook page except in comments by fans. (In fact, one fan asked specifically about this, and then later claimed on the page, "I posted on this wall asking why they have not made any mention of affiliation with the New Paltz Store and they deleted my post.") Mandeverde explained that such updates take time to implement, but he was reached for comment several days prior to the fan's comment being removed on Facebook.
No matter who owns this pizza place, it's demonstrating growing pains. The pizza is tasty, but unlike other places to order a pie in New Paltz it can't be delivered and probably shouldn't be ordered for take-out, as this establishment is really not prepared for it.