This New York pizza spot is trying hard to understand Miami — with mixed results

Paule Gee’s uses an Italian-built, 1,000 degree oven to cook its Neapolitan-style pizzas. In and out in 90 seconds, the crust remains doughy with big, black blisters that the untrained eye would see as burned. Facebook

Paulie Gee’s Miami: ⭐️⭐️ 1/2 (Good)

No matter how many Passovers and summers Jason Weisberg spent visiting his grandparents in Bay Harbor Islands, nothing prepared this Long Island native for the reality of living in the 305.

“It’s like the Twilight Zone,” he said.

He came with a mission: to bring pizza. Specifically, Greenpoint’s Paul Giannone’s style of pizza.

The classic China Palace and its Biscayne Boulevard neighborhood, he thought, was just gritty enough. Inside, it is nightclub-dark with original signs and a retro pinball machine. Though open since September, it’s a definite work in progress as Weisberg gets used to local tastes.

The thing is this pizza is not for everyone. Many people don’t like or just have never met a Neapolitan-style pie quite like this.

What distinguishes Paulie Gee’s — in addition to some very inventive topping combos — is dough that has been proofed for three days and then cooked in a wood-burning oven at temperatures around 1,000 degrees. In and out in 90 seconds.

Paulie Gee’s likes to use local flavors in their pizzas. This Jewbano pizza mimics the flavors of a Cuban sandwich with pulled pork, Canadian bacon, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard and kosher dill pickle slices.Facebook

The result is a somewhat doughy — seemingly raw — center and a cornicione or ridge that is pocked with big, black blisters that the untrained eye would see as burned. The bottom of the pie is spotted in black char with a layer of ash. It is pliable and airy without the crackly crust of a Roman pie or a New York style slice that many expect.

It’s still easy to spend a C-note on date night. Which would be OK if the service and the setting were better and the food more consistent.

For now, as Rod Serling might say, Paulie Gee’s finds itself in “a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge.”

Or, in other words, Miami.

READ the full review at MIAMI HERALD: This New York pizza spot is trying hard to understand Miami — with mixed results

Paulie Gee’s Miami

8001 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

786-558-8315; PaulieGee.com/Miami

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