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Review: Grimaldi's Pizza Coney Island

Grimaldi's pizza is made in a coal-fired brick oven.
Grimaldi's pizza is made in a coal-fired brick oven.
Grimaldi's Coney Island

In the world of Brooklyn pizzerias, Grimaldi's is an institution. The famed Dumbo location expanded to the seaside neighborhood of Coney Island in 2012. Instantly the crowds descended and the hourlong waits for Grimaldi's signature thin-crust, coal-fired brick oven pizza began. Just a few months later, Hurricane Sandy hit and the pizzeria was shuttered. Forced to rebuild less than six months after it opened, Grimaldi's reopened just in time for the summer of 2013. They reopened their doors April 30, 2013. It took the crowds a while to catch on that the place was up and running again, but once they realized this could be their best bet for a sit down meal near the boardwalk, business fired up again.

Thanks to the unique coal-fired brick ovens, Grimaldi's pizza offers a unique flavor and crispy crust that is just not possible from traditional gas pizza ovens. Piping hot pizza is delivered to your table with just the right amount of dark char on the crust. Melted fresh mozzarella (applied under their signature tomato sauce) and toppings like oven roasted sweet red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms and capers pack on extra layers of flavor. The weight of the toppings means that the crust here is, while thin over all, is hearty enough to carry it all. So, it's a hearty pizza without being heavy. Since the fresh cheese does have extra moisture than average mozzarella, it is best to eat Grimaldi's fresh and hot. Reheating just won't produce the same flavor and the texture of the dough will be much more wet. In addition to their stellar pizza, Grimaldi's offers variations of calzones, salads, pastas and traditional Italian desserts like the cannoli and tartufo that are a great way to end a meal.

As for decor, the Coney Island outpost has done a great job of paying homage to the neighborhood. Black and white vintage pics of the boardwalk and area attractions line the brick walls. The “Dreamland Bell” that survived the Dreamland Fire of 1911 is on display yesterday at the pizza restaurant. Owners decided it should anchor the dining room while they were rebuilding from Sandy as a symbol of the city's strength.

Grimaldi's Coney Island is a great choice for lunch or dinner if you're visiting Coney Island. Note, the restaurant is cash only with an ATM on hand.

1215 Surf Avenue
New York, New York 11224
718-676-2630
http://www.grimaldisconeyisland.com/