Located in the Short North Arts District, Paulie Gee’s is anything but your typical pizza and salad restaurant, and much more than the typical neighborhood bar. The wood-fired pizza oven is the main attraction. It is in the same block as the Garden Theater, home of the Short North Stage, making it a convenient pre-theater dinner choice. It is also a great hang out during the monthly Short North Arts District Gallery Hop.
Menu: Neapolitan style wood-fired pizza, soups, salads, and craft cocktails are what they serve here. You won’t find plain old pepperoni on the menu anywhere. There are 19 signature pizzas and 4 vegan pizzas. Or, you can build your own, using a large selection of fresh and unique ingredients.
What are the unique ingredients? House pickled red onions and house pickled pineapple, for starters. Rare and unique Italian inspired meats like Speck, the deep red and firm cured pork that gives prosciutto a challenge, and Soppressata, an Italian dry salami, are just two examples.
Popular drizzles include orange blossom honey, Ohio maple syrup and Ray Ray’s Hot Pit BBQ sauce, a nod to a local BBQ food truck operator. Ray Ray operates permanent food trucks in the Clintonville and Franklinton neighborhoods, and a walk-up window in the suburb of Westerville.
The Katzinger pizza is a local tribute to the German Village delicatessen, with Swiss cheese, pastrami, post-oven sauerkraut and a Russian dressing drizzle.
Seven soup and salad options provide a nice variety of cleverly crafted combinations, motivating patrons to come back for a second visit. You just can’t eat everything that sounds good in one sitting.
There is only one dessert on the menu, but it is local and delicious. Coppa Gelato is offered, and really all you need after a pizza and salad dinner. Seasonal flavors are available. You’ll have to ask the waiter about them.
Thoughts: Paulie Gee demonstrates that fresh, quality food doesn’t have to be expensive. I love the collaboration with other local purveyors. This is truly an authentic Columbus experience.
Happy Hour, Tuesday-Friday from 5-7 p.m. is awesome. Signature and vegan pizzas are offered for $10. Specialty pizzas are $12. You can even order a pizza flight for $20. Draft beer is half off and specialty cocktails are discounted by $1.
Don’t be afraid to ask about an ingredient if you don’t recognize the name. That is how we learn to expand our palates.
They don’t take reservations but do take call ahead seating. I suggest going with a large group, calling ahead for a big table, and indulging in an intense night of culinary sharing.
Price Range: Pizzas $13-$16. Soups and Salads $6-$11. Dessert $4 Craft Cocktails $6-$12
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