It’s got the size (small), shape (long and narrow) and location (strip mall) of your average pizzeria, but Gusto in North Bellmore packs a lot of surprises.
The pizza, for one: Neapolitan style, baked in a wood-fired oven. The 13 varieties include Margherita, spicy sopressata with hot honey, prosciutto with shaved Grana Padano cheese and arugula, pesto, sausage and roasted peppers, as well as a thoroughly Long Island-inspired Buffalo chicken with bacon, onions, Gorgonzola and hot honey.
That last pie must have come as a shock to Amadeo Orlando, a recent émigré from Milan, whose partner in the operation is a more experienced local restaurateur, Frank Taormina. Orlando makes all the pasta in house, offering three types, bigoli (a thick, rustic spaghetti that is a specialty of Northern Italy), pappardelle (wide noodles) and maccheroni (ridged tubes). These are served with the diners choice of sauces: tomato, tomato with stracciatella cheese, pesto, Bolognese, voda, mushrooms and broccoli rabe with Italian sausage. Pastas are $11 to $15. The 12-inch pies are $10 to $15; at lunch you can get an 8-inch "mini pie" for $4.50, regardless of the topping.
But wait, there’s homemade gelato! Traditional flavors such as chocolate, hazelnut and pistachio are joined by rainbow cookie and its ilk.
Gusto’s décor testifies to someone’s excellent taste: The subway tile, tin ceiling and retro lighting read more "Brooklyn trattoria" than "Bellmore pizzeria."
Gusto, 2645 Jerusalem Ave., North Bellmore, open noon-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, until 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 516-781-4000, @gusto_bellmore (Instagram)