Paulie Gee’s, the new Neapolitan pizzeria in Greenpoint, was doing a brisk business last night. From the street, the restaurant glowed invitingly, its large wooden doors thrown open, light streaming out.
An igloo-shaped, white-tiled, wood-burning oven hulks and smolders at one end of the room, manned by Paulie Gee (Gianonne) and his son, Derek.
We ran a two-part interview with Gee a few weeks ago, in which he explained how he went from IT manager and pizza-enthusiast to pizzeria owner. So we were interested in trying this home-grown pie, the “retirement” dream of this guy from Jersey.
Gee is making delicious crust. It’s puffy and soft in the Neapolitan style, but it’s not goopy or underdone. The outer crust rises in soft bubbles and has a wonderful, yeasty chew. It pulls and stretches under your teeth, the way good bread does. It tastes just salty enough; spots of char give it woodsy flavor. We’d eat the crust with just a bit of olive oil and be satisfied.
The regina ($13) is the simplest pie, with a good smear of tomato, mozzarella, and basil. The tomato sauce dominates, tasting very fresh— tart, sweet, and rounded like summer tomatoes.
The parma d’or ($17) is topped with prosciutto, mozzarella, shaved Parmesan, arugula, and lemon juice. So much lemon juice, actually, that it overwhelms everything else, a jolting acidity. It’s a tasty pie otherwise, but hard to enjoy through the tartness.
60 Greenpoint Avenue