Labelled as the best pizza in the USA, by Tripadvisor in 2015, you could argue that Juliana’s was either a tourist trap or it genuinely had good tasting pizzas, by the snake like line it had outside its doors. So we tried it, arriving early at around 5:30pm we were able to grab a table in an already full restaurant.
A little background info, Juliana’s was opened by a man named Pasquale “Patsy” Grimaldi in 2012, but before Juliana’s he was the owner of “Grimaldi” another pizzeria across the street from Juliana’s. Grimaldi retired and sold it to Franki Ciolli who moved “Grimaldi” across the street (its current location), before Juliana’s opened. Now Juliana’s is opened in the old Grimaldi location, competing with Ciolli and his pizzeria “Grimaldi”. What a story huh?!
Ambiance: Busy busy busy. It seems like they had just opened their doors for dinner service, and already the restaurant was packed, good thing we arrived early. The restaurant was decored in Halloween ornaments throughout, from the open kitchen to the exit of the doors. Simple interior, white walls and dark wooden tables, waiters coming in and out of the kitchen with every bit of urgency. The aroma of the pizzas filled the room, making your growling stomach start barking at each waiter that walked passed with food.
Food: The menu was simple, it had only a total of 9 pizza options, 2 kinds of pasta, 5 starters, and 6 desserts. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe all these choices fitted into a 1-page menu. From my previous experience in dining an Italian restaurant in New Jersey, I recall clearly the serving to be overwhelmingly large, so we applied that assumption to Juliana’s and ordered only the following for 3 people.
1. Arugula, Tomato, Cucumber, Red Onion, Frisee/Fresh Market and EVOO, red wine vinegar, honey and Dijon Dressingwith goat cheese & walnuts
2. Margherita Pizzatomato, mozzarella and basil
3. Spaghetti alla puttanesca (al dente) (VG)
To my surprise, the servings were just and we could have easily ordered another pizza if only the service was a bit more attentive and present. The adequate servings had us wanting more, they obviously focus on the quality rather than quantity which has me looking at Italian food in the U.S. in a new light. The classic char on the Margherita pizza has me swearing at all the mediocre pizzas I’ve ever had in my life and the pasta was al-dente with the sweet tomatoes coming through, just the right touch, and just the right amount of sauce with what I think is all just natural ingredients shining through.
Occasion:If you’re in Brooklyn, you must try this place. Treat your family or friends, one or the other find a reason to visit this place, even if you’ve got to fall in line. For 30 minutes.
Service:Seating was quick and pleasant, our waiter, however, kept disappearing into the abyss of the closed kitchen. He took our order, and after that, he never re-appeared again, until we received our pizza and pasta. After devouring our hot food, he appeared with our salad claiming he had to make it from scratch. Whatever, I still enjoyed Juliana’s. Lack of service could not ruin, the tastebuds Juliana’s had awaken in me.
Pricing: For 2 adults and 1 child $70USD, VAT included. Got to tip that waiter, that disappears and does nothing. Rolls eyes.
Contact Info: Juliana’s Pizza
Address: 19 OLD FULTON STBROOKLYN, NY 11201
Store Hours: 11:30am–3:15pm, 4–10pm
With all of Juliana’s history, one cannot argue that the popularity of this pizzeria is more than skin-deep. The simplicity of their pizzas is what complements their complicated history, the quality they focus on their pasta complements their quantity of endless hungry customers and the lateness of serving their salad is the yang to the yin, on how quickly we were seated. Everything has to have its balance and if you’ve been eating nothing but salad and grass into the new year, maybe its time to treat yourself to a trip to New York City and eat some of Juliana’s pizza.
Visited: 23rd October 2017
Their magical pizza oven
Our salad, for dessert
Spaghetti alla puttanesca
The line outside