New-York style pizza goes national at Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria. Delicious thin-crust pizza and a large, local beer and wine list await.
Last month OSU football played in the Alamo Bowl. Until 3 years ago, I worked during bowl week. I had fun, but it was a work trip, while my friends were there for fun. Now I go strictly as a fan, and I absolutely love it. No alarm clock, no “I’ll meet up with you later” to my friends, no responsibilities.
My parents have gone to most of OSU’s bowl games with me. The first few years they met me at the bowl site but now, as long as the game is within driving distance, they meet me in Stillwater for Christmas. San Antonio is an 8-hour drive, straight down I-35. Dallas is the mid-point, and therefore the perfect place to stop for lunch.
I have a lot of restaurants to revisit for better pictures, so I always start with that list when I eat out. The Dallas list is longer than I would like, so this was an opportunity to begin to fix that. My first choice was a Thai restaurant near downtown Dallas, but I knew that traffic would be horrible. My next choice was an Italian restaurant in The Shops at Highland Village, an outdoor shopping area near Joni’s house. It’s only about 5 miles off of the highway, so it wasn’t far out of the way. As I looked for a parking space we saw Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria, and my mom made the official decision to eat there instead.
Grimaldi’s originally opened in New York in 1991, with locations in Queens and Manhattan. It expanded over time, and now has 45 locations around the country. Grimaldi’s is open daily for lunch and dinner. Most locations offer order pickups, and some also offer delivery.
The Shops at Highland Village is an open-air shopping/dining/entertainment district. Grimaldi’s has a corner location, and makes great use of the space. The covered, outdoor patio is on the side of the building, and has 12 tables. The patio has ceiling fans, heaters, and umbrellas, so guests can sit outside year-round.
There is a large bar immediately to the right of the front door, and half of the bar extends to the outside of the restaurant. It’s such a great idea, and a very unique use of space. The roll-up window wasn’t open on this day because it was cold, but on warm days it is one of the most popular places to sit.
I like the mix of the casual tablecloths with the more formal pre-set table settings
We also noticed that, rather than clean the tablecloths after each guest, the staff simply puts a new tablecloth on the table. Great idea, and that way you know the tablecloth is completely clean. The main dining room is all tables, and there is also a smaller semi-private dining space towards the back. You can watch the staff at work making pizzas at the front of the restaurant, near the host stand.
Grimaldi’s uses a unique mix of textiles, with tile floors, brick and wood slat walls, and tin ceilings. It’s a very interesting combination, but it works well together. I really like the wine bottle chandeliers throughout the restaurant. Grimaldi’s also pays homage to its New York heritage with old-school NYC photos on the walls, and jazz music in the background
The Grimaldi’s menu is simple, and includes appetizers, salads, calzones, and dessert. There are 5 Chef’s Selection pizzas, or you can choose a plain pizza and add your choice of toppings. The salads are on the starter menus, and the salads are available in 2 sizes.
Grimaldi’s has a substantial beer and wine list, and the beer list is specific to each location. It was tempting, but we still had a 4-hour drive. Handmade dough, hand-sliced mozzarella, and a special filtration system that duplicates New York water are just a few of the unique twists at Grimaldi’s.
We began with large spinach salad.
The salad is delicious, and it absolutely overflows with baby spinach. The dressing is light and extremely flavorful. My mom doesn’t like much dressing, and I forgot to ask for it on the side, but she complimented the dressing as well. We got the bacon on the side, since my parents are vegetarian. I didn’t complain, though, because that just means more bacon for me.
We got a small Quattro Formaggi, and added pesto
The pizza was outstanding. The combination of cheeses (Mozzarella, Asiago, Parmesan, Pecorino Romano & Gorgonzola) works so well together. I’ve only had gorgonzola on pizza one other time, and there is nothing like it. The pesto adds such a gorgeous silky texture and wonderful flavor. I was surprised at the cost for additional toppings; however, they don’t skimp on the amount, so it’s worth it.
This pizza is huge. My mom even asked our server, to confirm that it was the correct size. However, it is thin-crust pizza, and only 6 slices. And yes, we finished the entire pizza with no problem.
Will I go back to Grimaldi’s? No question. Hopefully on my next visit to see Joni it will be warm enough for the outdoor bar to be open, because Joni and I could sit there for hours. Sadly, there are no Grimaldi’s locations in Oklahoma, but they would do very well in OKC and/or Tulsa.
For reviews of more restaurants in the Dallas area, click on the photos below!