By Burt Davis
Photos by Burt Davis or Dianne Davis unless otherwise noted
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn
What do you say when you receive an invitation to sample some new pizzas and spirits at Grimaldi's Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria? What time and which location! We recently tasted some new menu items which are being introduced nation-wide on October 5, 2015 in celebration of National Pizza Month.
We visited the Grimaldi's on the second floor at the Palazzo
Grimaldi’s is an institution in the world of pizza. The pizzeria started over 100 years ago in Brooklyn, New York and features specially designed coal burning pizza ovens. According to Area Manager Brad Whitehead who greeted us at the Palazzo location, the special ovens provide a unique flavor and crisp crust that can not be obtained from conventional pizza ovens.
Brad Whitehead Area Manager greeted us
Whitehead told us that anthracite coal is used in the 1200 degree ovens. Whitehead said that the special ovens along with Grimaldi’s homemade mozzarella cheese and secret recipe dough and sauce have made it the most award winning pizzeria in the USA.
Grimaldi features open kitchens enabling guests to see their pizzas prepared
The company now has over 30 locations nationwide and five in the Las Vegas Valley. Guests can also design their own pizzas by choosing ingredients from a wide variety of sauces and toppings.
The drinks we sampled were small, otherwise members of the media might not have been able to walk from the restaurant
Our introduction to the new upscale menu and featured cocktails pairings began with a Mionetto Spriz which is sparkling Italian wine with fresh citrus and herb flavors. It is meant to be enjoyed pre-dinner in order to stimulate the palate.
Grimaldi's House Salad
Grimaldi’s House Salad consists of romaine lettuce, red onion, cherry tomatoes, oven roasted sweet red peppers, mushrooms, and green olives. ($6 or $9). It was fresh and crisp with a tasty light vinaigrette dressing. The salad was paired with the Brooklyn Bramble consisting of gin, blackberry liqueur and lemon juice.
The traditional Margherita Pizza with Grimaldi’s Extra Famous sauce and fresh basil was paired with a SoHo Shandy. The Shandy is made from Peroni beer, gin, lime juice and wildberry syrup.
Brooklyn Bridge Pizza
Then there was the Brooklyn Bridge Pizza topped with red peppers, creamy ricotta cheese and Italian sausage paired with a Staten Island Sour. The sour contains Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, lemon juice and a splash of red wine.
Grimaldi's Traditional Vegetarian Pizza
Grimaldi’s traditional vegetarian pizza called The Garden is topped with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and olives was paired with the Madison Square Margarita. The Margarita may have a New York name, but it is Mexican in origin and made from Maestro Tequila and Italian Amaretto and lime juice.
Two additional new menu items are the Quattro Formaggi made with Mozzarella, Asiago, Parmesan, Pecorino, Romano and Gorgonzola cheese and The Don, Grimaldi’s traditional pizza topped with Italian Sausage, meatballs and pepperoni.
When you visit Grimaldi's be sure to leave room for the authentic delicious New York cheesecake desert. It was accompanied by a Long Island Limoncello Martini. The martini consisted of Citrus flavored vodka, fresh lime juice and of course Pallini Limoncello. This was my favorite pairing, since I am a great Limoncello fan.
I’ve always enjoyed eating at Grimaldi’s. Part of their success is due to the fact that they have kept their menu offerings simple. It consists of a variety of salads, pizza, calzones and desserts. Customers can customize their pizza by selecting traditional, pesto or white. Now they can also pick these new menu items and if they are at the Palazzo in Las Vegas, they can pair them with the selection of mixed drinks added to the menu which will enhance the food selections.
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria has five locations in Las Vegas and one in Sparks, Nevada. Las Vegas locations include The Shoppes at The Palazzo, Rainbow and 215, Boca Park Fashion Village The Fashion Show Mall, and Richmar Plaza. The Sparks restaurant is located in The Legends at Sparks Marina. For more information on Grimaldi’s Pizzeria visit www.grimaldispizzeria.com