It’s a slice of real Brooklyn in hipster Williamsburg.
A red-sauce Bensonhurst restaurant expanded into the borough’s so-called epicenter of cool this weekend with a menu that eschews arcane antipasta, primi, and secundi in favor of the do-it-yourself ethos that so many work-from-home types profess to adore by letting customers build their own pizza from a smattering of traditional and not-so-traditional (hotdog anyone?) toppings, an owner said.
“We changed the concept up a bit with the assembly line style, but it’s still the same great recipe — the pizza is legit,” said Carlo Alaimo, who owns 20th Avenue’s Europa and opened Pie Smith on Grand Street in Williamsburg on April 1.
And the beard-brunch-and-bicycle set is eating it up, he said.
“We ran out of food on Friday [opening day], which is a good sign, I think,” Alaimo said. “We sold out and put up a sign on the door said we’d be back around 7:30, and when we opened, we ran out again by 9.”
Alaimo, his brothers Marco and Alex, and a friend spent about a year hunting for a new location that was far enough from Europa’s home in Italian enclave Bensonhurst.
They looked in Park Slope and Downtown — where real estate is hotter than a coal-fired oven — but settled on the relatively low-key section of Grand Street between Williamsburg’s sickeningly hip waterfront and too-hot-to-handle East Williamsburg.
The pizzaiolos will have some heated competition — gastro-media darling Roberta’s is a 15-minute stroll away and free-beer-with-your-PBR bar Alligator Lounge is practically around the corner — but the pie smiths are confident their old-school recipe will top the other pizza slingers’ pies.
“We think the pizza is some of the best in New York, so we wanted to get it out there some more,” Alaimo said.
Pie Smith [679 Grand St. between Manhattan and Graham avenues in Williamsburg, (929) 295–0472]. Sun.–Wed., 11 am–10 pm; Thurs.–Sat., 11 am–11 pm.