'Paulie Gee' on Serious Eats
2013 isn't done in big pizza news: Paulie Gee is working on expanding to cities across the U.S., including a Baltimore location already in process, but also as many as "seven other cities" such as Chicago, Oakland, Las Vegas, and Portland.
Last week, we ran Part 1 of our in-depth interview with Paul Giannone, pizzaiolo extraordinaire and owner of the acclaimed Brooklyn pizzeria Paulie Gee's. As he readies himself to open a new branch in Baltimore, Paulie agreed to sit down with us and talk about his whirlwind journey from IT desk jockey to pizza legend. Today, we pick up with Part 2!
Three years ago, Paulie Giannone told then-music supervisor Mike Kurtz he could apprentice at his newly opened pizzeria, Paulie Gee's. Mike told Paulie, "Next week, when I come in, I'm going to bring my condiment." It wasn't long before the two pizzaioli figured out that Mike's chile and vinegar-spiked honey and Paulie's Dellboy pizza (a salty, meaty, piquant pizza made with spicy sopressata, fresh mozz, and parmigiano reggiano) were a match made in pizza heaven. And that's how the aptly named Hellboy, a must-order pie on the Paulie Gee's menu, was born.
Letters to Totonno's: Pete Wells, Allison Robicelli, Cookie Cimineri, and Others on America's Church of Pizza
On Monday, we reported the much-anticipated news that Totonno's was finally back in business, nearly five months after Sandy sent flood waters surging through their front doors. In honor of their reopening, we've collected testimonies and love letters to Totonno's from Louise "Cookie" Cimineri, Pete Wells, Dick Zigun, Adam Kuban, and more.
Popular Brooklyn pizzeria Paulie Gee's will open a branch in Baltimore in 2013, Slice has learned. Paul Giannone, whose transformation from IT manager to renowned pizza-maker is well-documented on this site (among many other places), is partnering with Baltimore local "Pizzablogger" (who asked to remain anonymous), at what will be called Paulie Gee's Hampden.
I enjoyed the hell out of The Mootz ($13) from Paulie Gee's, the best white pie I've had the pleasure of eating in a long time. It plays a simple tune, but damn it's a good one: fior di latte for creaminess and Pecorino for punch, garlic for personality, and basil for verve.
Yes, that's me in this photo in a role reversal of sorts. I'm usually on the eating side of the pizza equation (at least when I'm not at home). But when Slice/SE offered me the chance to possibly make pizza at Paulie Gee's in a private, pre-opening session, I was so there.
Slightly tart Bing cherries and orange blossom honey are perfectly played against creamy, earthy gorgonzola cheese, milky fior de latte, and sweet and salty prosciutto in Paulie Gee's Cherry Jones. The resulting pizza is rich, intense, and leaves you wanting more.
For the past three weeks, the owner of Paulie Gee's in Greenpoint has answered your questions on everything from his pizza heroes to his knack for the artful schmooze. Today's episode features Paulie waxing poetic about his early food memories, why he craves ginger ale with pasta, and some more motivation for all those future pizza restauranteurs out there.
A few weeks back we asked you folks to send in your questions for Paulie Gee, proprieter and chef at Paulie Gee's Greenpoint pizza joint. The former IT-professional turned pizzaiolo is an inspirational story if we've ever heard one, and we're truly grateful that he's taken the time out to answer a few of our questions. Check out the first in our three part series in which Paulie talks about following your dreams, changing lightbulbs, and managing baking while schmoozing.
Hey, Slice'rs! We've got a special announcement for ya. We're collaborating with Paulie Gee to bring you a new series called... Ask Paulie! Now you can have your pizza questions, concerns, and curiosities addressed by an accomplished pizzaiolo and a heck of a nice guy. But don't feel like you have to limit your questions to the crusty, saucy, cheesy stuff. You can also Paulie about his life, the professional challenges he's encountered, what goes into running a restaurant—just open the floodgates of your pizza-loving mind.
What about sauce, the oft-forgotten or rarely mentioned pizza element? Sauce is most often mentioned as an unabashed negative. Canned pizza sauce is of course a no-no. But what is the yes-yes of pizza sauces? What makes good pizza sauce good? Is there only one truly righteous pizza sauce? What do the pizza gods say about sauce?
If you follow along in the Slice comments section, you may have seen talk of Paul "Paulie Gee" Giannone's Egyptian move dough-stretching technique. When we visited Paulie to chat pizza recently, we asked him to demonstrate. You'll see it's a bit different from the dough-stretching moves that other pizza-makers featured on these pages have used. Paulie simply opens up the dough a bit and lets it hang off the side of the make table, outsourcing some of the stretching to good ol' gravity. Peep the vid above for the skinny.
Photographs by Nick Solares Paulie Gee's 60 Greenpoint Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11222; 347-987-3747; pauliegee.com Pizza Style: Neapolitan-style pizza Oven Type: Wood-fired oven The Skinny: As much as a labor of love as any pizzeria out there, Paulie Gee's creates a warm, inviting mood and serves wonderful pies patterned on the Neapolitan model but with a local slant Price: Individual pies, $11 to $17 Notes: Liquor license coming next week If Paulie Gee ever runs out of fuel for his oven, he could probably scuttle his restaurant's interior, which is decked out floor to ceiling in wood, and keep making pizzas...
Word is that Paulie Gee will be featured on the Cooking Channel on Mo Rocca's show Food(ography), in an episode focusing on outdoor cooking. Paulie Gee appears as the host of a pizza tasting, using his back-yard oven at his home in New Jersey. Dates and times here: cookingchanneltv.com/foodography/cooking-with-firebbq/index.html...