Cafe Society

Grimaldi's Pizzeria opens in the Denver Pavilions

If you have only 24 hours in New York, "You can't go wrong with Grimaldi's, a coal-fired pizzeria under the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge," wrote Time magazine in a story detailing ten things not to miss in the Big Apple. "Not only will you get a memorable pie, you'll also get a memorable view of Manhattan from one of the oldest -- and most picturesque -- parts of Brooklyn. Not to mention a jukebox filled with classics by Frank Sinatra, who, legend has it, had Grimaldi's pies flown to him in Vegas," Time added.

Grimaldi's, which started slinging pies decades ago in New York, eventually expanding across state lines, now boasts 35 outposts, the most recent of which opened earlier this week in the Denver Pavilions, and while the views don't quite rival the Manhattan skyline, the pizzas are as renowned as any in the country.

See also: Photos: The greening of the Denver Pavilions

"Our team searches the country for the best restaurant sites, and we're excited about opening within the Denver Pavilions," notes Joey Ciolli, president and chief executive officer of Grimaldi's Pizzeria, in a press release. "Over the years, we have received thousands of requests to open in Colorado and we expect that this location is the first of many to come."

Its calzones and thin-crusted pizzas, which are only served as pies (no slices here), are singed in the mouth of a hand-crafted, coal-fired oven weighing in at 25 tons and fueled by 100 pounds of coal per day. The oven has the capacity to reach 1,200 degrees, the result of which ensures a crisp-edged and smoke-scented crust blistered with blots of black char.

"The tantalizing aroma of pizza and calzones baked to perfection in our signature coal burning oven offers a unique flavor and a crisp crust that is just not possible from gas, convection or wood burning ovens," insists Ciolli.

In addition, the secret to stellar New York-style pizza, it's been noted, is the water -- water that's very different from Colorado H20. And because of the marked differences in the water, the pizzeria hired a chemist to analyze and recreate the mineral content and exact composition of the water to ensure the dough tastes the same in Colorado.

Along with pizza and calzones, Grimaldi's also turns out several salads and a board of desserts, including Sicilian cannoli. Beer and wine -- no spirits -- are also part of the lineup.

Grimaldi's is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.