Salvatore’s Coal Oven Pizza, whose sausage pie has topped Newsday’s list of Top 10 Pizzas Worth the Drive for the last two years, has new owners. In July, brothers Pat and Dom DeSimone bought the place from Fred Lacagnina, who, along with his brother Marco, founded it in 1996.
The DeSimones are longtime restaurateurs who own Cabo: A Taste of Mexico in Rockville Centre as well as Bella Mia and Ceci Italian restaurants in midtown Manhattan. Until they sold it to Butch Yamali in 2013, they also owned Peter’s Clam Bar in Island Park.
“We always loved the pizza here,” Pat said. “We were looking for another place on the Island, and the timing was right.”
When it opened, Salvatore’s was Long Island’s first coal-fired pizzeria. Fred and Marco Lacagnina are descended from New York pizza royalty — the family tree includes both Patsy Lancieri (the original Patsy’s pizzeria in East Harlem) and Patsy Grimaldi (the original Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn Heights). By 1997, Marco had moved to Asheville, North Carolina, to preach the coal-fired gospel to the people of the Great Smoky Mountains.
In 2007, Fred opened The Pie at Salvatore’s in Bay Shore, which serves pasta as well as pizza and heros. He’ll now be full time in Bay Shore and said he is looking forward to running only one restaurant.
Pat DeSimone said that he and his brothers were not planning any significant changes to Salvatore’s. “It’s the same people, the same menu, the same décor,” he promised. “We might do a little freshening up, but nothing is going to happen to the photographs of Frank Sinatra.”
Salvatore’s Coal Oven Pizza is at 124 Shore Rd., Port Washington, 516-883-8457.