I can't say I was pleased to hear that Charred Brick Oven had opened in Seaford in November. I was finalizing my annual roundup of Long Island’s best artisanal pizzas, was sampling up to three pies a day, and had no desire to add another candidate to the list.
Well, I’m glad I pushed through my resistance because Charred is making some of the best pizzas around. Pizzaiolo Lorenzo Montesanto spun pies at Eataly in Manhattan before landing in Seaford. His Margherita is textbook Neapolitan, with its puffy, leopard-spotted crust. For sheer overindulgence, get the mortadella pie wherein slices of the imported sausage are draped over a white pie then lavished with stracciatella, chopped pistachios, arugula and pistachio cream. In all, there are 14 pizzas to choose from ($14 to $21), all of which can also be ordered with a cauliflower crust for an extra $3.
Charred takes over Seaford Lobster Shack (est. 2015), whose menu blended fish-house archetypes (clam chowder, lobster rolls, fish and chips) with Italian-American favorites (clams oreganata, linguine with clam sauce) and newfangled classics (coconut shrimp, lobster mac and cheese). Owner Greg Garofalo said that running a fish restaurant in the current climate was tough. "Serving seafood is very expensive. Right now people don’t want to be spending $200 at Lobster Shack but are happy to spend $15 on a pizza. And the takeout is tremendous." (Garofalo is also the owner of Puglia’s Italian Steakhouse, which opened in 2018 a few doors east.)
The pizza oven dominates the dining room of Charred. In the kitchen is Stefano Bellato, who has worked with Garofalo for more than a decade. His menu features Italian favorites such as mozzarella in carrozza, fritto misto, pappardelle with oxtail ragù, burrata ravioli and mezza rigatoni with grape tomatoes, walnuts and olives. There are also heros, salads, cheese boards, wings and a 10-ounce burger.
Charred Brick Oven is at 3915 Merrick Rd., Seaford, 516-586-8617.