Neighborhood Newcomers: South Brooklyn Pizza and Annabelle’s

After a quiet winter of culinary openings, spring has sprung several restaurants here in Brooklyn. So before Jim and I received our first CSA shipment on Saturday and became inundated with fresh vegetables, we ventured out into our neighborhood last week to see how these upstarts measured up.

South Brooklyn Pizza

South Brooklyn Pizza: Located in the space adjacent to popular neighborhood pub P.J. Hanley’s, Carroll Gardens’ newest coal oven pizza joint opened about a month ago. Both locales are owned by real estate developer Jim McGown, who is also South Brooklyn’s pizza maker. Ten minutes after Jim and I sat down at our table, our oblong, thin crust pies arrived on individual wood planks ($12). In addition to a sauce of San Marzano tomatoes, a sprinkling of fresh basil, and an ample amount of olive oil, South Brooklyn’s pies are topped with a mix of mozzarella, fontina, parmesan, and asiago cheeses. The four cheese combination creates an almost salty mix of flavors nicely tempered by the less assertive tomatoes and olive oil. Toppings are not offered, although they are supposedly in development. The crust on our pies was thin, light, and crispy, with little char to be found. Despite the lack of ambiance in its dimly lit dining room, South Brooklyn has some fine pizza to offer, and I’m certain I’ll be back when I’m in need of a quality pizza fix and don’t feel like waiting on line at Lucali’s. Thank goodness it’s right around the corner from my apartment. 451 Court Street between 4th Place and Luquer Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn  T: 718-852-6018

Lobster Roll at Annabelle\'s

Annabelle’s: The Red Hook IKEA opens on Wednesday, surely bringing more foot and car traffic to Red Hook’s often desolate streets. Perhaps banking on this influx of shoppers, chef Neil Ganic has opened Annabelle’s, a new restaurant/bar in the old Lillie’s space (which happens to be right across the street from the blue and yellow behemoth). Befitting a chef known for the seafood spots La Bouillabaisse and Petite Crevette, Annabelle’s casual menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, and entrees leans heavily towards offerings from the sea. Jim bypassed the fish this time around and went with a pulled pork po’ boy ($13), while I couldn’t resist the lobster roll ($22). Ganic’s version employs luscious chunks of lobster meat coated with a creamy, tangy dressing served on a crispy baguette with salty fries and a side salad. I’ve heard rumors of an upcoming iteration of La Bouillabaisse next door to Annabelle’s, but I saw no sign of it. In any case, the scene in the backyard garden was pretty quiet for a Friday night at 9 pm, but I’m guessing the tranquility won’t last long. Who needs IKEA’s Swedish meatballs when you have lobster rolls across the street? 44 Beard Street at Dwight Street, in Red Hook, Brooklyn  T:718-643-1500

7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Harvey J said,

    Sadly, Brooklyn’s latest edition to the pizza wars strikes out. We waited close to 1 hour for our pie and when it arrived it was over-charred and bland. At $12 for a small pie, we were frustrated and slightly annoyed. They also have no toppings yet. We were assured that more where on the way – but I don’t think we will head back to see when they finally arrive.

  2. 2

    Alexis said,

    Amateur at best. Thin flavour-less sauce adds nothing to this overpriced pizza.

    Maybe he should return the oven and use it for some real pizza lessons.

  3. 3

    Christina said,

    Hi Alexis and Harvey–Thanks for commenting! I’ve read on some of the other blogs and this week’s NY Times that the pies at South Brooklyn Pizza can be inconsistent in terms of the char on the crust. But overall, Jim and I had a good experience there, and I’m sure we’ll head back, especially when they start offering different toppings. I also need to try the chocolate chip cookie!

  4. 4

    MIKE449 said,

    Owner/Pizza maker Jimmy McGown is a clown that has no idea how to make a pizza or own a bar next door. He sends out all the pies burned and basically has the attitude this is the way I make it, so take it or leave it. He finally opened up after a year of renovations and decides to go on vacation closing near 4th of July week. My advice being a former pizzeria owner in the area, just go down to Lucali on Henry Street between Carroll St. and 1st Place or Marco Polo Takeout on Court Street and Union St. You will get the best pizza in the area, which South Brooklyn Pizza does not offer at all.

  5. 5

    Harry said,

    I was SO disappointed by the pie here. I waited so long and had to endure all of George Michael’s hits at full volume before my burnt pie finally arrived. They claimed there was some problem with the oven – but it worked well enough to burn our pie. Not sure I will head back when they actually have toppings and are open normal hours.

  6. 6

    Christina said,

    Mike 449: I agree with you that Lucali’s offers the best pizza in the ‘hood, no doubt. But it’s also nice to have a second pretty good option that doesn’t require Lucali’s long wait. When I first moved here 4 years ago, Hanley’s was a pretty depressing place. It was always empty. But after McGown took it over, he made some lively changes– jazz bruches, BBQ Sundays. The outdoor patio is now packed in good weather. I like seeing a neighborhood spot do well.

    Harry: The second time I went to SBP I went with 4 people and we all ordered our own pies. Two came out perfectly (no char), the other 2 were charred. I guess the oven is a little inconsistent; I’m wondering if the amount of char has to do with which pies are cooked deeper in the oven. I also agree that the music needs a little help.

  7. 7

    customized big monster

    Neighborhood Newcomers: South Brooklyn Pizza and Annabelle’s | Artichoke Heart

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