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Luigi's Pizzeria, Mineola: First Bites

The moist, pillowy meatballs at Luigi's in Mineola

The moist, pillowy meatballs at Luigi's in Mineola come with a hefty dollop of ricotta. (Sept., 2012) Credit: Newsday Joan Reminick

An initial visit to the new Luigi’s Pizzeria in Mineola revealed that the place has its high points.

Chef Charlie Keller’s house meatballs ($12.95), a lush and pillowy combination of beef, pork and veal, came topped with marinara and a dollop of seasoned ricotta. Very good. Fine flavor in his spaghetti cacio e pepe ($10.95) made with butter, extra-virgin olive oil, cracked pepper and Parmigiano cheese. Problem was, the cheese adhered to some pieces of pasta, causing them to clump together.  “That’s the way the dish is,” I was told by the counter server.  It was taken back and replaced with linguine primavera ($14.95) —  julienne vegetables with roasted tomatoes and garlic, a commendable rendition of the vegetarian classic.

About the pizza: A grandma slice was OK but didn't approach the quality of the artisanal pies produced by the now-gone wood-burning oven of its predecessor, Flip Pizza.

To read more about the transition, click here.

Luigi’s Pizzeria is at 526 Jericho Tpke., Mineola, 516-294-7400.

Above: House meatballs, with ricotta


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