Above, the everything pizza at Giuseppina
I read Sam Sifton’s review of Giuseppina in April and have been itching to try the restaurant since. But as a Manhattanite, it’s so much easier to just go to Motorino! I finally drove out there with my boyfriend last night. The experience was even more impressive than I thought it was going to be.
Upon entering, the first thing I noticed about the dimly lit restaurant was that it was extremely clean. Owner and pizza maestro Chris Iacopo (brother of Lucali’s Mark Iacopo) was manning his post at the pristine marble counter before an open, fiery, wood-burning oven. We were seated at the best seat in the house, to the right of the oven and counter, right in front of the action.
The menu at Giuseppina is simple and to the point. Choose between pizza and calzones, and toppings such as beef pepperoni, sweet peppers, hot peppers, portobello mushrooms, fresh garlic, fresh basil, onions, olives, and artichoke hearts. Or you can get a simple white pizza, a veggie pizza, or an everything pizza. We decided to take the plunge and get everything.
Chris got to work making our pizza. With the dough in a perfect circle in front of him, he added tomato sauce. Then, to my excitement, he took a block of mozzarella out of a refrigerator and grated the cheese directly onto the pizza with a box grater. Next to him was a plate of whole peppers and portobello mushrooms which he grated onto the pizza as well! He added the rest of the toppings, then placed the pizza in the oven until the cheese bubbled and the crust became crisp and perfectly charred on the edges. He removed it from the oven, sprinkled it with fragrant sprigs of basil and a very light dusting of parmesan cheese. The pizza looked and smelled so fresh and delicious that I couldn’t wait to take a bite before taking a picture! (See above…)
While we were waiting for our check, Chris came over and introduced himself. A gracious host, he was kind and smiley, and shook our hands as he thanked us for coming. He also advised that we come back and try a calzone sometime. “We make them real good!” he said.
It’s safe to say I have added a new pizza joint to my list of New York favorites. Thanks, Chris!
Giuseppina’s:691 Sixth Avenue (20th Street), South Slope, Brooklyn; (718) 499-5052.