A Taste of New York Comes to Las Vegas

July 16, 2011

Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria

When I was growing up in Las Vegas back in the 70′s, when Spring Valley was way out in the sticks of Las Vegas, we’re talking Flamingo and Rainbow area of town, there was one pizza joint called Giovanni’s.  This was the go-to pizza for our family, this was prior to the pizza chains like Pizza Hut, Domino’s and Little Caesars.  Our family called this place at least once a week for at least a decade for a delivery. When we used to call, the staff knew exactly what we wanted, one large pepperoni, Italian sausage & mushrooms, we didn’t even have to tell them what kind we wanted or where to deliver it, they knew and this was before caller-id. The thing that stood out about their particular pizza was the hand made dough and the homemade sauce they made. The store closed sometime in the 80′s due to the pressure of the large pizza chains.

Forever after I considered Giovanni’s the best pizza and used it as a standard to measure all others. Now, I have tried almost all the different types of pizza offered in Las Vegas; chain stores, mom and pop pizzas, New York, Detroit, Chicago, California and even pizza with duck on it, but they all fell short of my standard. In 2010 a new contender rolled in to town, Grimaldi’s. This is New York style, old school (real old, 100 years+), from under the Brooklyn Bridge, kind of pizza. I never considered myself a thin and crispy New York pie guy, I usually like my pizza a little thicker, but this pizza is what I now call my favorite.

There are a few things going on with their pizza here, starting with the dough. It’s been said that the secret to true New York style pizza is the water. Grimaldi’s hired a chemist to recreate the water used in the Brooklyn pizzeria to make the integrity of the dough taste the same. The pizza is cooked in a coal-fired brick oven at a very hot temperature. The oven gives it a great crispy charred toasted edge and a fabulous flavor to the crust. Yes, it might have some blackened bubbles on it, but that only adds to the flavor.  Next, the cheese, this is not the kind of cheese that most places use, this is fresh mozzarella melted in little round pools around the pizza.  The pepperoni that they use is a hand made small caliber stick, the kind you would find in a local Italian market, sliced by hand and is decorated around the pizza adding to the overall flavor, not over powering it. This pizza is meant to be eaten right out of the 1000°+ oven. I don’t recommend using Grimaldi’s as a take-out place for pizza, it just does not hold up well, it cools too fast on the trip home.

My favorite pizza is the still the same, pepperoni, Italian sausage and mushrooms.
It took a while for it to get here, all the way from New York, but I now can say that Grimaldi’s is my favorite pizza place in Las Vegas. The ingredients are fresh, the service is great and I’ll try to take anyone there who is looking for a great pizza experience. So take the time, and give Grimaldi’s Pizzeria a try.

Web site: http://www.grimaldispizzeria.com/

Grimaldi's in Las Vegas at Boca Park on the Summerlin side of town.

This is a large pepperoni & Italian sausage

These guys know how to toss a pizza.

Grimaldi's Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

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