Umberto's Pizzeria and Restaurant
633 Jericho Turnpike New Hyde Park, NY 516 437-9424
One of the quickest ways to spot an Umberto's is to look for a restaurant with a crowd of people swarming in and out, lining up for takeout and filling the tables -- for this chain of "pizza-plus" eateries seem to be almost endlessly crowded. Serving lunch and dinner, the pies are definitely the signature dish, with options stretching from the expected plain, Grandma and Sicilian entries to more unusual designs -- such as broccoli rabe and sausage, chicken and pepper or deep dish. However, the menu also offers plenty of Italian plates from which to choose--many of which are centered on traditional veal, chicken and seafood.Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Friday; 11 a.m.-12 a.m. Friday-Saturday; Noon-11 p.m. Sunday. Credit cards: Accepted Accessibility: Yes Notable dishes: Grandma Sicilian pizza, Neapolitan pizza, red-sauce pastas.
This is "the original Umberto's," and the best of all the establishments that now carry the popular name. Come here for very good pizzas and hearty southern Italian food. The restaurant itself is casual despite the refurbishing that might make it seem more. You'll do well with a hot antipasto, stuffed mushrooms, mozzarella in any guise, The spaghetti alla puttanesca and the rigatoni al filetto di pomodoro are dependable choices. Likewise, manicotti, stuffed shells, eggplant rollatine and eggplant Parmigiana. From the pizza selections, try the basic Neapolitan, the Grandma Sicilian and the thicker more traditional Sicilian pies. Fine brick-oven Margherita pizza, and pizza capped with fresh roasted peppers and sausage; or with ham, onion, garlic, olives and fresh tomato. The cheese calzones also are recommended. And a plate of broccoli rabe with sausage will do, too.
"I will travel 30 minutes just to get it when there are plenty of pizza joints within walking distance from my house. NOTHING compares!!" says Maureen of Long Beach.
"You couldn't find a better tasting pizza...even if you went to Italy! Umberto himself actually does routine randomized taste tests of his product to ensure his pizza's consistency and quality! How can you beat that?" says Mark of Huntington.
"I took some Rhode Island buddies to Umberto's. After having one bite into the famous Sicilian, they all dropped the pizza and said, 'Now we know why you complain about pizza in New England,'' says Brain of Warwick, RI.
"It's the perfect blend of spice with a rich and robust sauce. Several cheeses used are of the highest quality. On a scale of 1-10, I'll rate it 1,000!!! One of my nephews comes from New Jersey to purchase and freeze their pizzas," says Gigi of Port Washington.
"Classic sauce and crust. Sicilian to die for and a regular that stands up with the rest. Even coming back to the NYC area 22 years after I moved to Australia...it still rates!" says Paul of Sydney, Australia.
"I've had pizza in some of the best 'so-called' pizzerias in the NY metro area. Nothing comes close to an Umberto's Sicilian pie. NOTHING!" says Chris of New Hyde Park.