If you asked to describe a quintessential dinner date ambiance, I might well lead you to Giuseppina in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Dark wood, exposed brick, and aesthetically placed wine bottles are perfectly basked in candle light and the fire from the pizza oven. The tables are large and uncharacteristically well spaced for New York. With attentive, but unobtrusive, servers its easy to slip into your own world. Though if you, or your date, aren’t in the mood for pizza or calzones you’d better steer clear, as that’s the extent of the menu–no antipasti, no salad, no desert.
In an effort to branch out from our usual Park Slope haunts, Iggy and I swung into Giuseppina’s almost at random. While waiting briefly for a table, we learned from the articles posted near the door, that Giuseppina’s is sister restaurant to Lucali (a restaurant in Carroll Gardens of similar design and occasionally frequented by Jay Z).
While the menu choices may be spartan, the prices are not. Pizzas and calzones start at $22 each. Regular toppings are $3 and, on my trip, special grilled artichokes were available for $8 and a hot and sweet sausage for $6. Iggy and I opted for a pizza with shallots and the special sausage, also electing for the free garlic and basil additions. The pizza, with a thin crust and an unsweetened sauce, was good, but not great. Anything special about the $6 sausage, aside from the price, was lost on me.
A glass of wine, a beer, and a two topping pizza set us back $50, pre-tip. The pizza was solid, but given the extremely limited menu I expected more. The cost-value equation just falls flat.
However, its not just Jay Z who appreciates this uniquely New York style of pizza. Through our dinner, there was a constant wait for new seats and more than a couple takeout pizzas left the restaurant. People seem to love Giuseppina’s for more than just the atmosphere. Given Giuseppina’s proximity to Toby’s (who manages to present a full menu and provide more flavorful pizzas at a lower cost), I am happy in my belief that everyone is entitled to their own incorrect opinion. I’m happy for the denizens of Giuseppina’s to leave the amazing pizza and table space at Toby’s for me and my friends.
691 6th Ave
(between 21st St & 20th St)
Brooklyn, NY 11215