In the New York area, "Neapolitan" signifies a big, round, relatively thin pie, a counterpoint to the big, square, thick pie we call Sicilian. But in Italy, pizza Napoletana refers to an individual pie that's been baked in a dome-shaped, wood-burning oven. It is bordered by a thick, puffy rim ("cornicone in Italian), and the crust itself is floppy enough for the point to be folded back toward the rim for consumption. In fact, the pizza (which detractors might describe as "soupy," is best eaten with a knife and fork.
In fact, Americans who visit Naples invariably complain that the pizza is too soft, underbaked. For this reason, many Neapolitan-style pizzerias in the United States try to strike a balance between authenticity and crispness.
But La Pala in Glen Cove makes a true Neapolitan-style pizza. Sal Apetino named his pizzeria-restaurant after the paddle used to get pizza in and out of the oven, and you can see a lovely old "pala" hanging next to the wood-burning oven at La Pala.
Aficionados of Pizza Napoletana have their work cut out for them finding La Pala: On the west side of Glen Street (across the street from St. Patrick's Catholic Church) look for Covac Vacuums: La Pala is around back where the parking lot is.
La Pala is at 246 Glen St., Glen Cove, 516-399-2255.