Attention Pizza Fans!
With Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, New York City’s finest pizza comes to New Paltz
By Lynn Hazlewood
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I love the wood-fired, Isabella sourdough-crust pizza at Baba Louie’s in Hudson, topped with (among other things) roasted sweet potatoes and parsnips. (I can hear you purists squawking from here, but it’s delicious.) I also like the pie with eggplant topping at Chefs on Fire in High Falls. When I worked in Poughkeepsie, I often used to get a slice from (of all places) O’Shea’s Sports Grill on IBM Road, whose owner had inherited a brick oven from the former Italian occupants. I think the place is closed now, which is too bad — that slice was a splendidly cheesy, messy affair, and cheap, too.
I’d never had a Grimaldi’s pie, so as soon as the New Paltz outpost opened, I stopped in. It’s in the space where Toscani’s once had a restaurant and piano bar. The former restaurant side now has tables and a pizza-making station in front of the oven. The piano-bar side is more softly lit, with the bar and the piano still in place. Slate blue walls, a wood floor, and tables with red and white checked cloths make it casually comfy, and there’s a big backlit photo of the Manhattan skyline, presumably the view from the Brooklyn Grimaldi’s.
I got a small, 16-inch pie to go, and the crust lost some of its crispness after being driven for 20 minutes and then reheated. Still, it had that slightly charred, smoky taste. Melted mozzarella and small pools of tangy sauce were strewn with basil leaves, and the whole thing was surprisingly light, delicate, clean, and fresh. A small pie ($12) was plenty for two of us along with a Caesar salad (which was tasty enough, but not remarkable). Next time, we’ll eat in and try some toppings. Check it out. So far, there are no lines, but it’s early days.