Grimaldi’s opens in Sea Cliff

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The Margherita pizza is a classic New York

The Margherita pizza is a classic New York pie. (Dec. 4, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

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Grimaldi’s, the coal-oven pizza behemoth with branches in New York, New Jersey, Arizona, South Carolina, Texas and Nevada, has opened a location in Sea Cliff. (The Grimaldi’s in Garden City is not a part of the chain.)

Mike Napoli, who owns the Sea Cliff franchise, is a former Wall Street guy who decided (perhaps mistakenly, he now acknowledges) that he was up for something “more relaxing.” Before it closed, Napoli’s mother owned the Club House in Port Washington, so he has “restaurants in his blood.” He’s also a pizza aficionado, a firm believer in the superiority of the coal oven, and a longtime fan of Grimaldi’s.

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As at all Grimaldi’s (and most coal-oven places): no slices. “We don’t have any pies sitting around on the shelf,” Napoli said. “I’d rather people didn’t even take out. The pie should be eaten fresh out of the oven.”

For now, the pizzeria is open Tuesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. “til closing” and the menu doesn’t stray far from pizzas (small, $12; large, $14) and salad. But more items and more hours will be added shortly. “You gotta walk before you can run,” Napoli said.

Grimaldi’s is at 243 Glen Cove Ave., Sea Cliff, 516-671-3093.

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