You know you live in an amazing city when both Paulie Gee’s and Roberta’s exist in it. Most major metropolitan areas would be lucky to have one incredible, inventive pizza restaurant like this, let alone two. And that’s not to mention the countless other legendary, more traditional pizza places we have in New York. At some point, you just start to realize that you probably won’t ever be able to live anywhere else in the country and be truly happy. Good luck moving away and eventually coming to terms with the fact that a place called Tony Brooklyn’s New York Pizza in the mall near your house is your best option for a pie. That’s right. The mall. Better pick up some Zoloft on the way there.
So, right about now, you are either reading this review somewhere in New York and agreeing with everything I said in that first paragraph, or you’re sitting in front of your computer in Philadelphia, getting ready to write us some angry email about how you guys have great pizza, too. But before you hit send, let me assure you that you don’t. Sure, you might have some spot in your ’hood that does a decent Neapolitan pie, and you might even be able to find a respectable slice from time to time. But you do not have a Paulie Gee’s. You don’t have a place that combines creativity with quality like this. And you don’t have a place that makes you feel this good when you eat there. I’m not sure I’ve ever been this satisfied while stuffing pie after incredible pie down my throat, drinking a hoppy craft beer from Brooklyn. Every single thing we’ve ever eaten at Paulie Gee’s has been better than the next, from the pizza with sopressata and spicy honey on it, to the one with gorgonzola and dried cherries. And to top it all off, they make vegan pizzas that are actually really, really good.
So while you’re sitting there thinking about whether or not Papa John’s will put some jalapeños on your cheeseburger pizza tonight, those of us here in New York will be making the tough decision of whether we hit Paulie Gee’s or Roberta’s for dinner. Maybe we’ll just go to Paulie’s and eat the Roberta’s tribute pizza they have on the menu.
God damn we’re spoiled.
Here’s the obligatory salad for your table. A simple pile of seasonal greens with gorgonzola, candied walnuts, dried cranberries, and some other stuff. It’s good. Now on to why you’re really here. Pizza.
Let’s start things off with our favorite pizza at Paulie Gee’s: the Hellboy. It’s a pie with fresh mozzarella, Italian tomatoes, Berkshire sopressata piccante, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Mike’s Hot Honey. A version exists that has everything BUT the hot honey, called The Delboy. But don’t you dare do that. That spicy honey kick at the end of each bite is what makes life worth living. We even bought some of it to take home.
Paulie Gee likes to get a little crazy sometimes, and the Cherry Jones is a good example of that. It’s got mozzarella and gorgonzola on it, along with Prosciutto di Parma, dried Bing cherries, and orange blossom honey. It’s sweet, salty, and very gorgonzola-ey. It that sounds good to you, you’re going to love it. If you’re not so sure about blue cheese, look elsewhere.
Yes, we ordered a vegan pizza, and it didn’t even make us feel sad inside. As a matter of fact, it was awesome. This particular pie had house-made vegan sausage and cashew “ricotta” on it, and somehow it was unbelievably tasty. We’re not mad at vegan eating, but usually vegan meat tastes like mushrooms and sawdust. This stuff actually had the flavor and texture of a delicious animal. Impressive.
This is an incredible demonstration of simple goodness, with nothing more than Italian tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, olive oil, and Prosciutto di Parma on it. And it’s perfect.