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Westhampton Beach: Hidden pizza jewel

The clam pizza at Pizzetteria Brunetti in Westhampton

The clam pizza at Pizzetteria Brunetti in Westhampton Beach. Newsday / Erica Marcus (June 25, 2010) Photo Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

One of the best pizzerias on Long Island is hidden in plain view. Roll up to 103 Main Street in Westhampton Beach and you see one door opening into a Haagen Dazs store, the other opening into Sydney’s catering. Where is Pizzetteria Brunetti? In between the two businesses, not visible from the street. But either door will lead you there.

The pizzeria consists of two counters, 12 stools, and a domed, wood-burning brick oven imported from Naples. In front of the oven toil pizzaiolo Mike Nunziata and the father and son who own the place, Michael (father) and Jason (son) Brunetti. They are making a very authentic Naples-style pizza which means it is thin in the center but puffy around the edges. It is not overly crisp, and its toppings are spare—the better to appreciate the fine flavor of the crust.

My friend (who lived in Italy for 10 years) and I adored the two pies we had. The Margherita ($14) was topped with freshly made mozzarella (from Pastosa in Babylon), imported San Marzano tomatoes, fresh basil and extra-virgin olive oil, a beautiful concerto. The clam pie (above, $18) followed a little later since it had to await a fresh batch of clams that was just arriving from Cor-J Seafood in Hampton Bays.

I can’t say I didn't ache to enjoy these pizzas at, say, a table. Preceded by a salad, accompanied by a glass of wine, followed by dessert and an espresso. If we hadn’t snagged seats we would have been compelled to take out—not a good option with such rarefied pies: A Neapolitan pie does not benefit from the ride home.

So my advice is to plan for a very late lunch or early dinner. Pizzetteria Brunetti is at 103 Main St., Westhampton Beach, 631-288-3003.

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