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Jul 18, 2000 05:27 PM

Pizza in Carroll Gardens

  • c

I have yet to discover pizza the caliber of Cristardi's, which closed some time ago. Can anyone recommend a good replacement? Grimaldi's is a favorite, but I would like someplace that delivers.

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  1. a
    Anthony Ricci

    Forget it, having gone up and down Smith St, Court St, down Union, etc. over the course of almost 10 years, it's all a mediocre botch (maybe it's the geography, as this also describes the identi-bi$tro bull$hit of the last 18 months). Seems the local Eye-tals have gotten lazy with a capital L: dull sauces, lame cheeses, crusts like a newspaper that's been left out in the rain, you-name-it, I won't even try and eat it anymore. One of the 3rd Avenue joints has recently changed management, so there's still a wee glimmer of hope. . . but barely. FYI, one of the more characterful old-timer Italians, Helen's, on Court between Carroll and 1st closed up without any notice last week. . . Discrete locals, when asked if they had heard anything, say "You hear alot of stories, who knows which is true?" Me neither.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Anthony Ricci

      We seem to be in the minority here, but I'll confess that my husband and I love the pizza from Sal's on Court Street near DeGraw. They deliver (buy 10 pizzas, get one free), and it's always nice and cheesy, without too much tomato sauce or sugar and with a crust that's neither paper-thin nor too-chewy-thick.

      And their "real" restaurant next door, Mama Maria, isn't half bad either. The atmosphere's a little corny, but we've been really surprised at how good the seafood is. And they know their garlic.

      1. re: Kendra

        I haven't found a pizza that compares to Grimaldi's, but Sam's on Court Street around Warren is pretty good. I also had a pizza at Red Rose (Smith Street around Union) the other day. I don't know if they deliver, but it was very respectable.

    2. During my years in Cobble Hill, I always liked Sam's. The restaurant setting was nothing great, so we got takeout.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Alan Emdin

        Consider yourself lucky that you stuck with takeout. Compared to the rude, slow-as-drying-paint service, the restaurant setting is downright luxurious! I thought the food was decent, the pizza more so than the virtually drowned in red sauce pasta, but certainly not good enough to make me go back and contribute to the livelihood of the rude ever again...

        1. re: anne

          I'm sorry you had such a bad time with the service at Sam's. I love their pizza, and while I usually get it to go, I had a great experience there the last time I ate in. We went in a large (10 or 11 people) group for a friend's birthday, and they couldn't have been more gracious about dealing with a horde of high-spirited twentysomethings on very short notice. I've eaten in Sam's two other times besides that, and the worst I can say is that it seems like the kind of place in which the waitstaff might get a bit gruff in a "family style" way- if that makes any sense.

      2. nino's (on henry at union) has pizza stuffed with spinach that is SO incredible. it's very flavorful, with tons of garlic and olive oil. the crust is nice and crisp, too.

        1. Have you tried House of Pizza and Calzone on Union between Hicks and Columbia? Their pies have thin, crisp, nicely browned crusts and a good balance between cheese and sauce. I think they deliver but I'm not sure...I live close by so I just walk in.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Dee

            I've never noticed House of Pizza...What's your favorite thing to get? And how are the calzones? I love those things, but I've found ordering them to be a gamble at a lot of places...

            1. re: Lauren

              Lauren, never had the calzones. I just go for the pizza. But across the street is Ferdinando's with some amazing Sicilian specialties. If you haven't tried that spot, do. I can even get friends to come from outside of Brooklyn for that show. They close at 5 except Fridays and Saturdays, when they're open until 8 or 9. Closed Sundays too.

              1. re: Lauren

                I've actually never had the calzones there, but they're pretty highly regarded. If you love calzones, they ought to at least be worth a try.

                1. re: Chris E.

                  We have had their deep-fried calzones and my daughter loved them pre-vegan lifestyle. Barbara Streisand was reported as being addicted to them too. I thought the filling to dough ratio was a little high, and the overall package simultaneously somewhat greasy, creamy and bland, tho the ricotta was excellent. I think a baked calzone might be preferable.

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    I've never much liked their calzones (I do like their pizza), but then again I never much liked Barbara Streisand, either...

                    Many swear by both, though.

            2. Wow, I miss Cristardi's, too! I had only discovered them and poof, they were gone. I am amazed, given the historically Italian-American makeup of the neighborhood, at the volume of mediocre-to-blah pizza throughout CG . But among surprisingly few good options, I think Giardini's on Smith & 2d Place is USUALLY good -- not too thick crust, an imaginative AND tasty selection of toppings and a good splash of nice sauce. Sometimes the pies are delivered a little underdone -- read soupy, so do make sure to specify well-done when ordering.

              I think the best pizza in the area comes out of My Little Pizzeria on Court just above Atlantic -- thin crust, flavourful/not sweet sauce, generous but not excessive amount of cheese. To get them to deliver to my Smith/Hoyt nook in CG takes some schmoozing, but depending on your street address, if you call during a non-crazy time they will usually oblige.