Gaetano’s Flour & Fire, an innovative eatery that sought to expand Long Island’s pizza universe, has closed after less than six months. While classic Neapolitan (round) and Sicilian (rectangular) pies and slices were available, the heart and soul of the place were the square Detroit-style slices and individual Naples-style brick-oven pies.
The Garden City pizzeria had long been a branch of Umberto’s, the pizza chain founded by Umberto Corteo in 1965. It was Umberto’s son, Gaetano, whose travels exposed him to the pizza traditions of Detroit (whose pan pies feature a thick but light crust, extravagantly topped) and Naples (whose traditionally wood-fired pies are bordered by a puffy, toothsome crust).
Last year Gaetano began to transform the pizzeria, bringing in the latest equipment and experimenting with different flours and fermentation methods. The shop opened in late January and, in April, was featured in a Newsday story about cutting-edge Long Island pizzerias, alongside King Umberto in Elmont, Taglio in Mineola and Donatina Neapolitan Pizza Cafe in Patchogue.
Gaetano did not respond to requests for more information.