Not much has changed over the past 15 years at Papa Razzi in Westbury, last reviewed in 1994.
Like certain Italian movie stars, the sole LI branch of a Boston-based chain doesn’t show its age. It’s a handsome place with both intimate booths and big tables; one room, suitable for large parties, has a fireplace. Fittingly, walls are decorated with the works of “paparazzi” (those pesky celebrity photographers) — shots of Whoopi Goldberg, Jerry Lewis, Richard Pryor and scores of others. Enter and you’re greeted with the campfire scent of the wood burning pizza oven.
Maybe I’ve had one too many wood-oven pizzas, because the crust here didn’t impress me as much as it did years ago. In terms of flavor, it was kind of bland; the best bites were oven-charred. Also, the center sagged beneath a simple but very good Margherita topping of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. A panino (stuffed into a flat, thin pita-like bread) with sausage, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions and provolone was OK, not exceptional.
Here's the way the review read back in ’94: “Papa Razzi is not a perfect Italian restaurant, but it’s a good one, especially considering that it’s part of a national chain.”
Of interest: The place offers a Saturday and Sunday brunch from 11:30 to 3 p.m. All brunch items (among them chicken hash, smoked salmon, steak and eggs and, um, fruit pizza) include a complimentary Bellini or mimosa.
Papa Razzi is at 1500 Jericho Tpke., Westbury, 516-877-7744, paparazzitrattoria.com
Newsday Photo of margherita pizza at Papa Razzi/Joan Reminick