I moved to Murray Hill a few months ago and, while no one likes moving, there are some aspects I thoroughly enjoy. My favorite, of course, is exploring my new neighborhood, not for clothing stores or great bars, but for fabulous new food spots to frequent and enjoy. We’ve already found a couple super-cute eateries and go-to spots for a bit of late-night comfort (S’Mac, I love you!), and I’ve enjoyed the searching every step of the way. While I love traditional New York pizza, with a crisp crust that cracks in half as you fold, I also have a soft spot for Grandma pies, made in a rectangular pan, but still home to a thin and crispy crust if done correctly. My old neighborhood, the good old Financial District, had a pizza place — An Underground Pizza — that made a surprisingly delicious Grandma pie. It always arrived crispy, huge and with the perfect distribution of mozzarella, marinara, basil and the final sprinkling of parm. When I moved I knew I would miss it, and I do.
But, my boyfriend and I immediately went in search of another place to satisfy our craving, and we found Garlic Pizza. Located on 2nd Ave between 34th and 35th, and recognizable by the huge, scary-looking pizza-man statue outside, it offers a dizzying array of Grandma pies. My boyfriend has tried the buffalo chicken, the BBQ chicken, the truffle mozzarella and the plain pie, and loved them all. I am more of a simple pizza lover, and when we get the pizza together we opt for the plain Grandma pie, with marinara, mozzarella, basil and parm. Last night, however, we changed it up and ordered half regular and half white pizza with ricotta and mozzarella. While the crust at Garlic does not stay crispy throughout the whole pizza, it’s better than most, and the complexity of the toppings more than make up for it. The marinara at Garlic is the chunky style I love, with grated garlic and the perfect balance of sweet and tang. The mozzarella is fresh — I see them slicing it from the pulled ball pretty often — and the parm on top is generous. I was happy with both pizzas, although I think the ricotta on half made it a bit soggier than I like, and I will probably stick with the plain going forward. All in all Garlic is a sold option, with very friendly staff, and they offer a ton of novelty pizzas that, while not my style, definitely appeal to many others and have received very high praise.
And, my cat approves.