To all intents and purposes, this cosy little bamboo-lined room is in Bushwick, though the address is technically Maspeth. They don’t take tele-reservations and they’re wildly popular, so prepare to wait for a table on the outside bench, unless you come in an hour earlier and show your face to give your deets for availability. It sounds like a right ol’ effort – and it certainly is. And it’s also daylight robbery: daily specials are around the $23 mark, and that’s to eat simple fare at shared tables…in Queens!
This late-night pizzeria mini-chain has a great reputation for its three branches (Williamsburg, Bowery and Park Ave) and there may well be plans for expansion. Giulio Adriani’s flash-fried and oven-finished pizza fritte satisfies the munchies of most late diners. The pizza is certainly top-notch here, but the service can be lax and even quite uppity. But fear not, stoners: delivery is always available too, though you’d be missing the upscale decor and the warmth of the perfectly low-glow lighting.
Subway: Lorimer St (L), Metropolitan Av (G)
Consistently topping lists for best pizza in Brooklyn, Juliana’s is the original Grimaldi’s, though the long lines outside the latter show that many still don’t know this, and prefer the gruff manner of the staff at the corner joint. The original site is a much classier affair, with cleaner lines, white walls and professional service, as well as a charming manager and regular visits from the proud owner himself. The choice ‘No.1’ in the pizza specials is a thing of fresh, salty decadence: Mozzarella, Scamorza affumicata, pancetta, scallions and Oregon-grown white truffles in olive oil—no tomato appears on this white pie in any form, and frankly is not missed at all. There are also pastas, salads and desserts, and an extensive choice of wine and beer, so it’s easy to get carried away here. The only thing you might find is how noisy the space can get, due to some strange acoustics or lack of soft wall fittings – it’s a cacophony at the worst of times. But who really cares in such a rightfully celebrated institution?
Subway: High St (A)
A ‘cull’ is a lobster with one of its claws broken off, a ‘pistol’ its pitiful clawless crustacean buddy – I didn’t know this until I had seen the paintings in their bathroom (a great way of avoiding the inevitable public bathroom lines in Chelsea market) on my third visit there. Happy hour is tremendous here – all oysters and clams are a dollar each and there are chowder, tacos and drinks specials. Naragansett pints ($4) and Sauvignon Blancs ($7) will make you want to stay longer, while the Pistols on Horseback (fried oyster wrapped in Jamon Serrano on a ramp crepe with smoked aioli: $7 for 2) might tip your bill over into triple digits. Service is a little harried but you can hardly blame them. Expect long waits from 4-6pm.
Subway: 8th Ave (L)