Today is the 2nd time I've been to the famous Grimaldi's pizzeria. I got there by way of trying to make it first to Di Fara's, which was closed, and then to Franny's, which was also closed (I thought I had called ahead but I made a mistake), and then to L&B Spumoni, which for some weird reason Google Maps placed in downtown Brooklyn instead of in Bay Ridge. Finally my starved friend and I landed on the hospitable foothills of the Brooklyn Bridge and begged Father Grimaldi for mercy. And it was given us.
The pizza in this packed place is superb, my 2nd favorite after Di Fara's. We were lucky and did not face a line, perhaps because we arrived late. The place is super-cramped, but the prices are reasonable and the pizza is fantastic. We ordered a large, well-done pie with half mushrooms and peppers. The only problem with the pizza was that, as even Di Fara's slices are sometimes wont to be, a little soggy near the front edge of the slices. Other than that, though, the slices are simply addictive. The dough is fresh, chewy, warm, and slightly sweet. The sauce is sparingly ladled onto the dough, but the simple sweetness of the tomatoes peeks through, and whatever spice combination they use is just about perfection. The buffalo mozzarella has real flavor, unlike the mozzarella at many places, and the peppers and mushrooms were super-fresh and spoke of summer abundance and ripeness. They clearly were sauteed or cooked properly before being laid onto this pizza.
This is some great New York food. Just fantastic.
Afterwards, my friend and I got absolutely gluttonous and decided to check out the nearby DUMBO edition of Jacques Torres' chocolate shop. We split a Wicked hot chocolate, which is a hot chocolate with a bit of a chili pepper kick, and JT's French Kiss cookies (essentially chocolate chunk, except that the chunks are a little flatter and spread out more through the cookie).
The hot chocolate was tasty, but, to my mind: 1) too thin, and 2) not sweet enough. The chocolate itself was good. For this kind of not-as-sweet, "more civilized" version of hot chocolate, I would prefer La Maison du Chocolat. Though to both I would easily prefer the Dessert Truck's more sinfully sweet beverage of the same kind.
The chocolate chip cookie -- excuse me, french kiss -- was tasty. Large, flat, a little crispy, dense, and with a high chocolate-to-flour ratio, this is a decadent, buttery cookie that has a solid consistency. It is dark and rich. Let's call it a very good cookie, though it did not have the transcendental quality of the very best, in my humble opinion.
Still, this is a worthy chocolate and pastry shop.
The Vegetarian New Yorker: http://vegny.blogspot.com/