From Keste, we headed off to Brooklyn to Paulie Gee’s. As with Keste, we had an incredibly gracious host in Paulie. Not only did he regale us with his wisdom and stories for just about the whole time we were there, he expertly selected our pies for us, and he did us right. (Larry was a little disappointed that Paulie wouldn’t let us get a Margherita – but we made it up to him at Motorino). The selection he chose was perfect; a Delboy - red pie with incredible Berkshire Sopressata, a Greenpointer – white with arugula, EVOO, lemon juice (I don't think they did on this pie, but I saw them put several pies topped with arugula into the oven as opposed to adding the arugula after. I need to try this), In Ricotta Da Vita – tomatoes, sausage, ricotta, arugula, Hellified Porkpie White – pork squared with Mike’s hot honey, and Cherry Jones (we had an interesting discussion with Paulie on the origin of the name) – gorgonzola prosciutto, dried cherries, orange blossom honey. (These are just quick descriptions; check out his menu for a full list of toppings and to see the other innovative offerings).
My overall impression of Paulie Gee’s was just about exactly the same as the last time I ate there a couple weeks ago – and that’s a good thing. It was consistent. As I noted in my last review, his pies are his signature. You know they are his pies from both the distinctive look and the incredible flavor combinations with ingredients that play off each other so well and combinations you won’t find anyplace else. (I was happy to see a Roberta’s pie on his menu however – who knows – maybe someday I’ll want to put a Paulie Gee’s pie on my menu…). The pies we had at Paulie’s really covered the whole spectrum of rich, salty, spicy, savory, and sweet. It was a pure pleasure.
One thing we all immediately picked up on at PG’s is how much bench flour they use. They open the balls in four and then sprinkle more flour on the skins at least two more time and in some cases three before topping and baking. Here many of us are trying to use less flour and we see this? What are we to think? My only other comment is that his oven is HOT. I timed the pies at 65 seconds, but I also got a few peeks under the pies as they baked from the vantage point of my chair. They were fully charred on the bottom in what I would estimate to be not much more than 30 seconds. If you forced me to find something wrong with the pies, the only thing I might be able to point to is that shy underside (as John calls it) was perhaps a little too charred on some of the pies.
So far, we were batting about 10,000 with these two stops. If we ended the night right then, it would have been an incredible success, but we weren’t done yet.