What are the odds that two East End guys would bring specially made pizza ovens from Italy back home, learn as much as possible on how to make perfect little Neapolitan-style pies, set up shop on opposite forks just in time for the summer of 2010 and succeed in creating two must-stop pizza meccas?
103 Main St., Westhampton Beach
The path to perfect little pizzas in the Hamptons runs through the Häagen-Dazs on Main Street. In the back, in a tiny space with only a couple of counters and a dozen stools, owner Michael “Pops” Brunetti and son Jason have wedged in their pizza oven imported from Italy and, along with pizzaiolo Mike Nunziata, are creating some of the finest Neapolitan-style pizza ever baked on Long Island.
Brunetti spent time at Motorino in Manhattan learning the art of making authentic pizze and uses the right ingredients, including San Marzano tomatoes, imported cheeses, fresh mozzarella and homemade sausage. But I’ve never tasted a crust—either here or in Italy—so impressive that it can sometimes take center stage over the rest of the high quality ingredients. The pies (no slices!) are 10 inches, thin crust and come out of the oven in two minutes. The Margherita is excellent, with that crispy, chewy crust, redolent of good olive oil, assuming a larger part of the pie. The Parma, made with prosciutto di parma, parmesan reggiano and arugula, is another favorite. I wonder, would it be too weird to ask for “extra crust please?”
Grana Wood Fired Pizza Napolitano
1556 Main Rd., Jamesport
Dave Plath is a guy with a mission. He always loved great pizza and traveled far and wide to taste it, making pilgrimages to Italy and across the U.S. in a quest to find the perfect pie. He found it at Pizza Bianco in Phoenix, regaled by many pizza mavens to make the perfect pizza, where some people (including yours truly) wait for up to two hours for a taste. Here in his cool brick building, with a bar left over from the former tenant (it’s BYOB for now) he installed his wood-fired oven. He employs organic flour, makes his own mozzarella and sources his ingredients locally whenever possible. Happy patrons at a dozen or so tables share generous salads while they wait for their pies to emerge. Ten-inch Margherita pies are not too thin and are well charred, the fresh mozzarella melted into the sauce, the crust sturdy and crisp. The Grana is a cheese-lovers delight with the same mozzarella, garlic ricotta and parmesan reggiano, topped with arugula. Closer than Phoenix and a much shorter wait.
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