There’s no better place in New York for pizza than Brooklyn, but you already probably knew this. As it relates to pizza in South Brooklyn, there are a number of terrific options within a few train stops of entering the borough, with each offering their own strengths and weaknesses. Grimaldi’s is legendary but has long been touristy and not worth the wait. Juliana’s is excellent (and better than Grimaldi’s both in quality and setting), but there is the Grimaldi’s spillover folk. Lucali, a couple of stops deeper, may be the class of Brooklyn pizza spots not named is Di Fara, but its small size and devoted following make for 90 minute or two hour waits – fine if you have the time, not so fine if you don’t have the patience to get hungrier and hungrier. Which brings us to Dellarocco’s in Brooklyn Heights. A relatively newcomer to the area, Dellarocco’s is in a pretty fantastic location (on Hicks, just off of the trafficked Montague strip of restaurants and shops, close to multiple train stations and in area of restaurants missing a quality sit-down pizzeria).The feel is familiar and straightforward – wooden tables and chairs populate a space that feels like a nicer neighborhood bar. There’s good natural light during the day, and at night, when candles are placed on the tables, it becomes a great place to go for a low key Friday or Saturday night.
And there’s more! They serve food! We ordered the meatballs and split a straightforward Bresaola Salad (arugula, parmesan, lemon vinaigrette). Both were decent enough ways to start a meal, but nothing make or break. The pizza order was straightforward – a margherita (add prosciutto) and the Dellarocco (Smoked Buffalo Mozzarella, Broccoli di Rabe, Italian Sweet Sausage, Red Pepper, Garlic, Basil). The pizza came out in a reasonable amount of time, though longer than expected with exceedingly hot ovens being the new norm. Size-wise, the pies were fantastic – splitting two pies (assuming that’s a typical order) was more than enough for the two of us, both competitive sized eaters. Other pies include: Pesto with gorgonzola, smoked mozzarella; Tartufata with truffle cream, shitake mushrooms, mozzarella, speck and a Calzone with mozzarella, broccoli di rabe and Italian sweet sausage.
The bottom pie line is this: the tomato sauce was unassuming (in a good way) and had a good tangy/sweet balance, the cheese was creamy with a good bubble, and the toppings were plentiful and fresh. My minor quibble: While charring is terrific on a pie cooked in a hot oven, these pies were CHARRED. Not overcooked or well done on the surface, but the dough charred to the point where every bite had a bit of a smokiness to it. If that’s you’re thing, which it is for a lot of people, terrific! If not, it can border on being a bit distracting from an otherwise very good pizza. My recommendation is to find your way to Dellarocco’s for a great low key date. The wine and beer selection is pleasing, and the restaurant’s proximity to the Brooklyn Promenade gives you a built-in evening.
Pizza AND a view! Do it.
– Written by one of ChekmarkEats’ dining partner in crime for a second round here, Dan Rubenstein