There’s something poetic about walking into your favorite pizza place. The caress of Italian seasoning in the air, the tang of tomato sauce and the garlicky goodness of …well, everything… hits your nose like a sonnet. You may not have been that hungry when you walked in, but now, NOW, you’re in it to win it. 

Bonus Fun Stuff: ​Discovery Guide to DFW Restaurant Week 2018.

After some years of the “usual” Texas take on pizza, I admit I just ate whatever was put in front of me. Some were good, and some were …not. But I had the privilege of visiting NYC in 2017 that changed everything, and I got to sink my teeth into the real cheesy deal.  Within an hour of taxiing from the airport into the heart of Times Square, we were eagerly hunched over a huge pan of New York’s finest. We don’t even remember the name of the pizza place, but we still talk about the springy crust, thyme and oregano dusting our fingers, pulling super hot cheese from our lips. It’s as distinct as a fingerprint: there is no mistaking a real New York pizza, I don’t care who’s making it. 

Dining room of Grimaldi's GrapevineDining room of Grimaldi's Grapevine

Walking into the dining room at Grimaldi’s in Grapevine

So when we were invited to dine at a New York-born pizza place right up the street from us in Grapevine, we jumped at the chance to relive the moments. But we were dubious that we’d find the same delicious and SPECIFICALLY New York style delights we’d experienced. 

Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria pizza is created from a recipe that was crafted in the DUMBO district of Brooklyn in 1990. (DUMBO stands for the neighborhood “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.”)

Ah, the wine list!

Ah, the starters!

Coal-fired, brick-oven-baked pizza is not new or particularly rare, but it is a very important part of the face-punch of flavor and goodness that goes into Grimaldi’s pie menu. A chewy crust with those crisp, beautifully browned bubbles is created with the help of RO water that is shipped in from NYC. (So that’s the secret—there really is something in the water!) 

Large Mediterranean Salad — big enough to share

Antipasti plate. Tons of sundried tomatoes!

We ordered the fresh, huge Mediterranean salad big enough for the three of us to start, as well as an Antipasto that was good, but any compliments we might have had for these were entirely eclipsed when steaming pans of beautiful pizza pies were set in front of us. Service was spectacular, but I don’t remember her name. The drinks were quite good—don’t remember them either. It was all about the pizza once they landed.

The Don: Dangerously Delectable DON.

They don’t sprinkle on mozzarella—they hand-slice it fresh and lay on thick rounds of it.

They have five special pies—Chef’s Selections—plus a couple of seasonal choices, calzone, starters and several wine options that are suggestively paired on the menu. We reveled in The Don, a rich, meaty maestro that was easily my favorite with sliced meatballs (moan), sausage and pepperoni. The Brooklyn Bridge with ricotta cheese, red peppers, and “hand-pinched” Italian sausage is slap-the-table good! 

A super short clip of the steam rising off my new favorite pizza pie: The Don at Grimaldi’s.

You can build your own pizza, by the way. They don’t MAKE you choose one of their Chef Selections. They will bake in whole fresh basil leaves or pile the pesto on. Tomatoes two ways, sausage, fresh garlic (not that stuff you shake out of a canister at the table), or grilled chicken. While the p-word is that good ol’ standby we know and love, there’s the potential for crisp bacon or ham or artichokes on your Brooklyn-baked pizza horizon, my friend.

Renee about to tuck into some cheesecake.

A beautiful site: Not just one but three.

Somehow, some way, we even fit in dessert. They brought out their Dessert Trio—large portions of any three luscious lovelies from their dessert menu. A huge original cheesecake (not too light, not too dense) and a rich bananas foster cheesecake (seasonal) plus a decadent tiramisu were not just good, but “stop in for coffee and a plate to share after a movie” memorable. We boxed up the pizzas for lunch the next day in order to make this dessert happen, but we were really glad we did. 

In pizza HEAVEN.

Grimaldi’s is the real deal. Some purists might think a chain doesn’t know jack about good food, but you don’t get to be a successful chain by slacking. I think it really could become your next favorite neighborhood pizza. It’s damn good, and I’m ready for more!! Have you been? Have I made you want to go? Good. Let me know what you think in the comments. 

We were invited to join the manager of Grimaldi’s Grapevine for a hosted complimentary meal. This is an honest description of the experience and we highly recommend this pizza, the service and the dessert! 

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