At the Make Table
Paul "Paulie Gee" Giannone stretches dough at the make table at the head of the dining room. At the preview event, Mr. Giannone stretched the dough and built the pies, which were then transferred to the oven and tended by an assistant.
Puffy cornicione and leopard-spotting on the crust. Pies will be served on small aluminum pizza pans.
The pizzeria, which seats 58, is sort of a cross between 1920s speakeasy and chic urban barn, its funkiness thanks largely to the use of salvaged architecture and building materials.
Mr. Giannone made three other pies in addition to the de rigueur Margherita. Here, half an "Alexi" (left), featuring Italian tomatoes, arugula, olive oil, sea salt, and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano; the other half is topped with fior di latte, hot Italian sausage, and red onion.
This one was a big hit. I could see it turning into a signature pie at Paulie Gee's. It's topped with marinated kale, fior di latte, and guanciale.
For the oven geeks among you, let it be known that Mr. Giannone's is a Stefano Ferrara, imported from Naples, Italy. It's a gas-assist wood-fired oven. Gas-assist, because it's one of the only ways to get clearance from the city to put one in. Many pizzerias install the gas-assist to appease The Man and then never use it.
Have you been to a rock show recently? You know how the front row is filled with fanboys, arms upraised with cameras in hand, blue screens glowing back at you as the nerds capture the show for posterity? This was sort of what went on Saturday. I can't say I wasn't among them. But I needed to get pics to show you all! (To be fair to the gentlemen pictured here, they were not among the camera-toting dorks. They were simply observing Mr. Giannone's work as they waited for pies.)
And there's what the underside of the Margherita pie looked like. Commence discussion on charring now.