"Good" is the category that the majority of pizza falls into, as it's nearly impossible for the combination of warm dough, sauce, and mozzarella not to be. Sure, there are levels to this sh*t, but whether it's a pie of DiGiorno's just heated up in the oven or a slice from around the corner, pizza is ultimately satisfying and makes you happy. Great pizza, though? Not all pizza is great. New York happens to have more great pizza than anywhere else in the world. So when we hear people start throwing new names into the "great" category, showering newly minted establishments with “Best Of” talk and love, we pay attention.
GG’s is the new restaurant owned by Nick Morgenstern, aka BasedGod Of Ice Cream. Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream dropped like a Szechuan Peppercorn Chocolate bomb on NYC last summer. The popular throwback parlor with inventive, yet simple flavors and sundaes was worth every scoop of ice cream hype and minute of waiting in line. Unfortunately, we aren't as excited about GG's, which seems to be the unpopular opinion here. GG's is a weird little restaurant. It's tight, really uncomfortable, and lacking in identity. Is it a pizza place that just has a ton of other stuff on the menu, or is it another restaurant that has a little bit of everything, including pizza, because everyone is doing pizza these days? We're still not sure. All we know is that we didn't love anything on the menu other then the burger, which is excellent, and the ice cream (duh). We came back three times to make sure, because everyone on Instagram couldn't be wrong, right?
The bottom line is that pizza at GG’s may be good enough, and yes, better than DiGiorno's, but it's by no means great. If you're looking for a great new pizza, go to Emily and eat the Colony immediately. GG's simply isn't on that level.
Starting this review off with the burger, because it's what saved GG's from a rating in the 5's. The soft, classic, squishy backyard burger bun is covered with some form of delicious "secret sauce," because all burgers must have secret sauces to be good these days. Melted white cheddar, melted onions, and sliced pickles atop a medium bodied, crazy juicy patty make this one of the better burgers available in the East Village. If you find yourself at GG's, you best be ordering this.
On our combined three trips to GG's, we sampled a good portion of the menu. There's a lot of lamb, but nothing stood out too much, so we'll just go down a couple things we'd consider getting again if we were to go back. The Fried Lambneck Meatballs were tasty, and the Stuffed Agnolotti with crispy lamb was the best of underwhelming pastas. Our server had big upped the Cast Iron Chicken, which was a snooze, as was the Sweet Baked Squash entree.
This is the pie that had been getting all the hype. An homage to the classic Grandma slice, a square pie with the simplest of toppings: tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil, oregano and pepperoni. Our issue here? It just didn't have any flavor. The pizza is bland. There is way too much bread, and it just doesn't come together in that I NEED TO EAT ALL OF THIS WAY other great pizzas do. Bummer.
Overall, this was our favorite pie. We liked the subtle spiciness of the sopressata combined with the pickled peppers. Could have gone for less arugula though. If we come back here, we'll be ordering this one for sure.
A white pie billed as having littleneck, cockles, AND razor clams, plus mozzarella, ricotta, mushrooms, garlic confit and rosemary. We had dreams of a pie heaping in clam goodness to arrive at our table, only to be wrecked by a skimpy pie without much toppings on it all.