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Jun 3, 2013 08:19 AM

Juliana's Pizza

Have not seen anyone write about the place yet.

So we finally got here this past weekend. It was a steamy day. Could have baked a pizza on the sidewalk. There was the usual line of people standing in front of 1 Front Street waiting to get into Grimaldi's. They looked like they were melting into the sidewalk.

No line at all at Juliana's. We are told a table for 2 will be a five minutes. Probably waited 2.

Space is the same shape as the old Patsy's but the posters of Frank are gone and there is no jukebox. But the sound system plays music from the 60s so there is plenty of Frank in the background. Much brighter space with all the white paint. I think the tables set up is pretty much the same as before. The big round table in front of the window to the left as you come in is still there. Didn't see Patsy but I think his wife was there.

Ordered the caesar salad with the white anchovies (they have salad now!) and a margarita pizza with roasted peppers and the sausage with fennel. The old antipasto platter is no more.

Salad was lightly dressed. Nothing fancy, but the marinated anchovies worked very well.

The pizza arrives. Looks like what we used to get. Edges are dotted with brown speckles. Bottom has the lacy bands of scorch marks from the coal oven.

The pizza toppings were scattered across the top. Not too much of any one ingredient. Looked like a watercolor painting. Crust was crisp. Held up well with the toppings. As to the taste, it was not a life changing earth shattering experience. But it was very tasty. The sausage was fantastic. Definitely on the top end of pizzas.

I have mixed feelings about writing about this place. I liked the pizza. A lot. I plan on going back. But I don't want to find myself waiting in line for an hour. I'm worried that the crowds that head for Grimaldi's will suddenly hear about another place that's got better pizza and doesn't have the wait. I want to keep this for myself. But I thought I would at least share with CH.

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  1. I certainly think Juliana's beats Grimaldi's. The overal taste of the ingredients is more profound, bright and flavorful, especially the cheeses. The toppings also are more robust, and the sausage Grimaldi's uses is especially easy to beat.

    4 Replies
    1. re: NYJewboy

      I agree that Juliana beats Grimaldi's. It's amazing people line up for Grimaldi's.

      1. re: foodwhisperer

        It's gonna be a good year or two for the latest editions of (you name them) tourist travel guides to kick in with Juliana's featured alongside the other guy, with it's backstory.

        In the meantime, let's keep this to ourselves!

          1. re: Mike R.

            My GF and I stopped by the day after the 4th of July. There was a line of about 10 people waiting outside so we moved on. We wondered whether that was due especially high volume at Grimaldi's or whether word had gotten out.

      2. Short line, 10 minute wait at 2:30 Sat (long line at Grimaldi), warm and gracious greeting/seating by....Juliana?....Mrs. Grimaldi. Just one lg. pie for 3 because we had dinner plans later. Margherita pie with 1/2 sausage (thanks for the sausage recommendation). Very pleased (out of town guests VERY pleased). Agree with the assessment--not life changing but really good. No negatives. Even longer line a Grimaldis when we hit the street.
        Annie Hall moment---upon overhearing me telling my guests the back story, Mrs. G took the time to tell the REAL story. As I told my guests later, it was pretty much exactly the story I was telling them but I dug the scenario of the expert coming out of the wings to set the record straight, even if it already was (and she was perfectly charming--no sotto voce 'you jerk' implied).

        3 Replies
          1. re: kathryn

            Walking through DUMBO last weekend, after getting off the Governor's Island ferry... Huge line coming out of Grimaldi's new location, about an hour long... Waiter in front of Juliana's, somewhat pathetically trying to get people to come in... Sign on the front of Juliana's "Revenge is a dish best served piping hot," explaining the lawsuits over the name, etc. Went inside and had a nice glass of wine, salad and pizza with tomato sauce, mozz, prosciutto and arugula. I agree with the other posters that Juliana's is quite good, not life-altering, but certainly as good (if not better) than Grimaldi's. So now there REALLY is no reason to wait in line.

            1. re: parkslopemama

              there never WAS a reason to wait in line at Grimaldi's after Patsy sold it. Every time we went it seemed to loose something, until it was simply not very good any more. Ive not been back since he opened Juliana's hoping for an opportunity soon.

        1. Well it finally happened. Juliana's is the #1 pizza in America according to tripadvisor. So will there now be equally long lines at Juliana's and Grimaldi's? I guess I share a little bit of the shame and glory in this. LOL