Massa's new pizzeria in Huntington: Hits and misses

At Massa's Coal-Fired Brick Oven Pizzeria in Huntington, At Massa's Coal-Fired Brick Oven Pizzeria in Huntington, the white pizza topped with fresh mozzarella, scallions, pancetta, scamorza cheese and a hint of truffle oil was a treat in February 2014. Photo Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick

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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.

A recent dinner at Massas Coal-Fired Brick Oven Pizzeria in Huntington proved a mixed experience, in terms of food and service.

The eatery, which occupies the former home of Guidos, faces onto a municipal parking lot. Whenever the door opened, a cold wind rushed in, making for a shivery experience at a front table. While our server was pleasant and earnest, she was hard-pressed with way too many tables.

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An antipasto salad featured fresh mozzarella stacked atop pale sliced tomatoes (which tasted past their prime) and prosciutto. There was also a mound of  too-garlicky roasted peppers as well as three pieces of salami, each rolled round two olives, and some shards of focaccia ($12.95). Not an auspicious start. Yet crisp coal-oven baked pepperoni chips" ($7) were a treat.  

We tried two pies from the coal-burning oven, which bakes at extremely high temperatures. The first, a large Margherita  ($18.50) was ordered with one half topped by sausage and peppers (additional $5).  Whether the peppers or the sauce carried an off taste was hard to determine, but the entire pie which was soggy on the bottom was, effectively, undermined. On the other hand, a large white pizza crowned with fresh mozzarella, scallions, pancetta, scamorza cheese and a hint of truffle oil ($28) was exactly what one would expect from pizzaiolo Bill Massa a crisp, clean-tasting crust and savory, harmonious topping.

Hopefully, Massa will set things in order as the place evolves.

Massas Coal-Fired Brick Oven Pizzeria is at 80 Gerard St., Huntington, 631-923-3473, massaspizzeria.com.

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