Pizza Tasting


Do you know Paulie Gee?

I met Paulie Gee on the Serious Eats website called SLICE.
A website all about pizza.

I have been reading Paulie's comments regarding the good, bad and the ugly pizzerias all over the NY metro area for a while now.
This Brooklyn native knows his slice.

Well, back in April, I am reading that Paulie is a neighbor of mine in New Jersey and has an outdoor pizza oven that he built with his own hands! You can read Adam Kuban's article about Paulie here.

HOW COULD I NOT KNOW THIS? I thought I knew everything. My mother always said I was a "know it all".

So, I found out and the rest was history.

Forget Daniel Boulud, forget Thomas Keller, forget about Tom Collichio (no, let's not forget him)........we have Paulie Gianonne.

A June night pizza tasting at Paulie's famous backyard pizza oven was all I needed to kick off my summer. (Now if it would only stop raining).

Paulie's son, Michael, a recent Air Force Academy graduate, is in charge of the wood burning oven, and keeps it at a balmy 900F degrees, which takes about 3 hours to reach the desired temperature.

He also uses a laser thermometer to make sure the oven is at the correct temperature at all times.

Paulie makes only Napoletana style pies and makes all the gorgeous dough himself.
90 seconds in the oven and it's done. The pizzas are a certain size by Naples law, and only have 4 ingredients total.

We had 10 pizzas total (for 7 people!!!), and I couldn't decide which pie I loved more.

The one with arugula and lemon juice had my name on it, and the Nancy Silverton sunny side up egg version was fabulous too........but I think the star was the Berkshire guanciale (pig's cheeks) with fresh salted mozzarella.

It was a 4 hour tasting, featuring Paulie's homemade Limoncello to start the evening, and a big salad made by Mary Ann, his lovely wife.

Here are the fantastic highlights.

The Menu:

Pizza Tasting
June 16th 2009

Margherita with Prosciutto di Parma (post oven)

Bianco with Sliced Fresh Garlic, Pecorino Romano and Basil

Margherita with Sopressata Picante and Parmigiano Reggiano

Bianco with Baby Arugula, Fresh Lemon Juice, Olive Oil, Prosciutto di Parma and Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano

Margherita with Berkshire Guanciale, Pecorino Romano and Sliced Red Onion

Margherita with Sauteed Italian Eggplant

Bianco with Berkshire Guanciale, Parmigiano Reggiano and Sunnyside Up Eggs

Tomato Medley Margherita

Margherita with Sopressata Picante and Parmigiano Reggiano

My contribution to the evening was my ricotta cheesecake for dessert.

I was even allowed to bring my pizza loving husband, who just maybe, will build ME a pizza oven in our backyard!

We are hoping that Paulie opens his pizzeria in Brooklyn soon, we will be there waiting in line to get in.

Thank you to Paulie and his family for their hospitality and generosity.
These pizzas by far, were the best pies we have ever eaten, and I am not kidding around.



Anonymous said…
Every one a picture!! No pun intended. YUMMMMMMY
Ciao Chow Linda said…
You have just indulged in one of life's great pleasures. Lucky you to know that fellow and to have had such a feast. I too, have a friend with a backyard brick oven he imported from Italy. One of the more unusual ones he's made for us was pizza with truffles, but honestly the favorite remains pizza margherita.
What a glorious night! Have you moved in yet? :-)
Pam said…
Why can't Paulie be my neighbor? Every pizza looks and sounds AMAZING!
SarahB said…
Those pizzas make me want to cry...
stephchows said…
WOW this sounds like such a fabulous evening!! Totally wishing I was there!
Paulie Gee said…
What a great feature. Thanks so much Stacey. You are way to kind.

@Pam If you live in Brooklyn, it just might happen some day.

Thanks again,

Paulie Gee
~~louise~~ said…
Oh Stacey, You have no idea the flood of memories your evening generated. When I was a child I spend most of my summers in Brooklyn at my aunt & uncle's house. Uncle Funzie had a glorious pizza oven built in the back yard and my cousins and I had incredibly memorable times while the preparations were made. If only I had appreciated the beautiful pizzas induced into masterpieces in that humble oven. Oh I could go on and on...I think I'll head over to the Nutella Cupcakes to snap me out of this nostalgic moment. Thanks so very much for sharing...
Foodiewife said…
Wow! What a treat! I so love Margherita pizza. Your ricotta cheesecake looks fabulous. I'd have to pilfer several slices of those, in my purse, had I been lucky enough to be there.
Those pizza's look beyond amazing!!
It would be hard to choose. I'm a crispy crust girl and that is just making me drool!
pizzablogger said…
Great write up and looks like a fantastic way to spend a summer evening. Paulie's pizzas look excellent as always....nice looking pics!
joe@italyville said…
Those all look delicious! I think I need to know Paulie!
LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY YOU....what a cool and fun time - now I want a pizza oven OR my own Paulie!
lisa is cooking said…
I want a pizza oven! That looks like all kinds of fun. I don't know where to get wood for a pizza oven, but I'll figure that out later.
Karen said…
Holy moly. I am soooo jealous! You must've been in heaven!!
amycaseycooks said…
What a fantastic evening! The cheesecake looks outstanding and I will being checking for the recipe on your blog.
Gorgeous pizza Stacy. I'm partial to the Margherita one with all of the different colored tomatoes.

We have a friend who loves pizza and has a beautiful wood burning oven in his house in here in the mountains and has a professional pizza oven in his house in the islands. I'm emailing him a link to your post. I know he'll enjoy it.
Melissa said…
I am in awe. I believe you that those must have been the best ever. And I can't believe how many white pizzas there are. *Weeping with joy*

(*and jealousy)
LaDue & Crew said…
WOW!! I want to eat at his place too!
Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
Finalmente si vede una pizza seria in America bravi!!
Anonymous said…
Pizza with arugula, procuito all cheesed up & a sunny side egg topping it off! All the food groups I crave... Thanks for the beautiful photos.