Did I tell you New Yorkers are very particular with their pizza? I think I did here. Each resident of this lovely city has his or her favorite pizza joint, and mine is Lucali. Of course, it wasn’t always Lucali. I spent many years pre-Lucali making the trek to Grimaldi’s and Patsy’s, lining up for hours for a slice at DiFara’s, experimenting outside our shores in Rome’s Pizzeria Da Baffeto, and in Sint Maarten’s La Fregate. One cannot underestimate the joy of finding a good pie.
But I digress. Usually when I am asked if I have tried (insert name) pizza yet, I am skeptical, and depending on the reliability of the inquirer’s taste and the delivery of his feedback, I might give it a shot. Friends of friends recommended this place, and we’re glad we listened. It now tops our list.
You would think that a Brooklyn restaurant offering only pizza and calzones would be buried in the hundreds of restaurants surrounding it, but Lucali has proved to be a gem in the neigborhood. Taking no reservations or credit cards, a dinner here is guaranteed only if one shows up an hour before they open to wait in line. I’m not kidding. But aren’t we all used to that by now?
A big plus at this place is that it’s BYOB, which usually means they haven’t gotten their liquor license. Bring your own bottle(s) of wine and the server will gladly pour it into your glasses, sometimes allowing you to drink while waiting in line outside (at your own risk, of course). This cuts your pizza bill significantly as opposed to ordering wine in-house, as is in their sister restaurant Giuseppina’s in South Slope, another joint worth mentioning.
While waiting for your pie, sample their calzone, good enough to share between four as a starter. Served with a side of marinara, the crispy charred crust and mix of mozzarella and ricotta filling is without rival. We like it with garlic.
It gets pretty dark at Lucali in the evenings, a good idea when the option of unlimited free booze presents itself along with one of the best pizzas you’ll ever have. Try it and see if you like it. And if you think “It’s just pizza, how good can it be?” we are speaking different languages. To you, I say “Gettouttahere!” 😀
575 Henry Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231