A recent dinner at Massa’s Coal-Fired Brick Oven Pizzeria in Huntington proved a mixed experience, in terms of food and service.
The eatery, which occupies the former home of Guido’s, faces onto a municipal parking lot. Whenever the door opened, a cold wind rushed in, making for a shivery experience at a front table. While our server was pleasant and earnest, she was hard-pressed with way too many tables.
An antipasto salad featured fresh mozzarella stacked atop pale sliced tomatoes (which tasted past their prime) and prosciutto. There was also a mound of too-garlicky roasted peppers as well as three pieces of salami, each rolled round two olives, and some shards of focaccia ($12.95). Not an auspicious start. Yet crisp coal-oven baked pepperoni “chips" ($7) were a treat.
We tried two pies from the coal-burning oven, which bakes at extremely high temperatures. The first, a large Margherita ($18.50) was ordered with one half topped by sausage and peppers (additional $5). Whether the peppers or the sauce carried an off taste was hard to determine, but the entire pie — which was soggy on the bottom — was, effectively, undermined. On the other hand, a large white pizza crowned with fresh mozzarella, scallions, pancetta, scamorza cheese and a hint of truffle oil ($28) was exactly what one would expect from pizzaiolo Bill Massa — a crisp, clean-tasting crust and savory, harmonious topping.
Hopefully, Massa will set things in order as the place evolves.
Massa’s Coal-Fired Brick Oven Pizzeria is at 80 Gerard St., Huntington, 631-923-3473, massaspizzeria.com.