After opening three successful burger restaurants on Long Island, the Galatoulas family is taking on pizza: Rocco’s Pizza in Bellmore is the latest venture from the owners of Burgerology (branches in Rockville Centre and Huntington) and New York Burger Bar in Massapequa.
Rocco’s takes over the little storefront at the corner of Camp Avenue and Newbridge Road that has long housed a pizzeria, most recently Marge Anthony’s and, before that, Pepe’s and Luigi’s. It’s a location that John Galatoulas knows well. “I grew up in the neighborhood,” he said. “Both my mother and I went to high school at Mepham right down the street so we were always here.”
For the pizzeria, John teamed up with partner Rosario Manzella, who had been a chef at Burgerology but also has decades of experience in Italian restaurants. At Rocco’s (named for his Sicilian grandfather), he is upping the ante for neighborhood pizzerias with hand-cut fries, sandwiches on homemade focaccia and inventive entrees such as chicken breasts “Mona Lisa,” topped with roasted peppers, asparagus and mozzarella in a shallot-white wine sauce.
Not that pizza gets short shrift. Manzella is proud of his grandma pie (“I got the sauce recipe from my own grandma.”) and such specialty pies as upside-down Sicilian, chicken Caesar and “the best chicken bacon ranch.”
Rocco’s has four booths, two tables and foresees a lot of takeout.
Rocco’s Pizza is at 1906 Newbridge Rd., Bellmore, 516-781-1100.