Port Jefferson is blessed with an abundance of places to eat pizza. I recently visited four restaurants on Main Street, within two blocks of each other – , , and – and discovered that each offered a special pizza experience ranging from pizza-on-the-go to sit-down-and-dine.
The first stop was (124 Main), a true hole in the wall, a tiny place with a few stools at counters for those not doing take-out. Anthony Rosati holds court behind a counter containing all kinds of baked items such as rice balls, Jamaican beef patties and pinwheels. He says his most well-known pizza is the sesame crusted Margarita, with marinara sauce and fresh basil. I asked four-year-old Maria, from Port Jefferson Station, who was munching on the Margerita, what she thought and she declared it to be "good."
Next was (109 Main Street). Vincenzo Chiamese emigrated from Naples 15 years ago with a wealth of family recipes. He opened his Port Jefferson pizzeria in 2007. Vincenzo's has the look of a typical pizza parlor with several tables for in-house dining. There I met Ed and Jackie Maddalena from Islip who were trying Vincenzo's for the first time; he had ordered the regular pie and she the chicken marsala. They agreed that they liked the atmosphere and that the pizza was good. Vincenzo says people rave about the crust and that his most popular pie is the chicken bacon ranch.
Then came (216 Main Street), with tile floor, tables and banquettes and an open view brick oven. The oven burns coal to create authentic Neopolitan pizzas and it takes nearly two hours to crank up to 1200 degrees. The pies cook very quickly (two minutes!) and so they have to be thin. The coal imparts a distinctive and delicious charcoal flavor to the pizza.
Last stop was (234 East Main Street), a tablecloth restaurant that offers lavish 10-inch individual pies baked in their brick oven. There's Tuscan pizza topped with portobello mushrooms, spinach, prosciutto, pine nuts, smoked Gouda, mozzarella and parmesan. And seafood pizza with lobster, calamari, crabmeat, spicy tomato sauce, mozzarella, asiago cheese and basil pesto. Chef/owner Steven Sands says that a favorite with his customers is the Greek salad pizza.
What to have for dessert after all that pizza? Nutella pizza back at Vincenzo's!