Major Pizza News

CityCentre coup: Brooklyn pizza restaurant with a cult following finally moves inside the Beltway

CityCentre coup: Pizza place with cult following moves inside Beltway

Grimaldi's Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria pizza
Grimaldi's coal-fired pies have a distinctive crust. Grimaldi's Pizzeria/Instagram
News_The Woodlands_Crush_Grimaldi's
The CityCentre location will be Grimaldi's fourth in the Houston-area, joining this one in The Woodlands. Photo by Marlo Saucedo
Grimaldi's Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria pizza
News_The Woodlands_Crush_Grimaldi's

The mix of restaurants at CityCentre is poised to get a little more interesting. New York-based pizza chain Grimaldi's is bringing its coal-fired pies to the development in "late-summer."

Although the restaurant has been in the Houston-area since 2009 and has outposts in Sugar Land, Katy and The Woodlands, the CityCentre location will be the first one that's actually in Houston proper. The 3,500 square foot restaurant will be located beneath the Texans Grille.

“We get thousands of requests from the Houston market to continue to expand, and I am thrilled to say that CityCentre is the first of many we are planning,” Grimaldi's CEO Joey Ciolli said in a statement. “Houston has always been a great market to us, and we can’t wait to serve the community our brand of iconic New York style pizza.”

Unlike a traditional Italian pizzeria like Pizaro's that bakes its pizza in a wood-fired oven, Grimaldi's uses a 25-ton behemoth that's fed 100 pounds of coal every day and operates at a temperature of 1,200 degrees. The crust emerges crispy with a light smoke flavor that led Chronicle columnist Ken Hoffman to label it his favorite pizza in Houston.    

Just as Gino's East delivers real Chicago flavor, Grimaldi's seeks to replicate the Brooklyn original by working with a chemist to ensure the water it uses to make dough possesses the same mineral content as it would in New York. 

The pizzeria's arrival brings another high-quality restaurant to CityCentre. Long known solely for chains, the dining situation improved in 2014 with the additions of South American steakhouse Sal y Pimienta and Radio Milano