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Piñon's Pizza Company opens in Locust Valley

A cheese and herb pizza at Pinon's Pizza

A cheese and herb pizza at Pinon's Pizza Company, which has opened in Locust Valley. Photo Credit: Newsday/Corin Hirsch

If the story of Piñon's Pizza Company were ever made into a comic book, the first panels might show a chef pulling a bubbling thin-crust pizza from an oven and the owner raising a can of Heady Topper to the applause of a family of five.

Such was the scene, sort of, during the pizzeria's opening night in Locust Valley this week. The crowd took in multiple demographics: The youngest diner was barely a toddler, the oldest appeared to be in his 70s, and teenagers noshed on sausage-topped pies while the bartender splashed samples for a 30-something couple at the bar.

Owner Andrew Robinstein, who also owns the Cold Spring Harbor Wine Shoppe, has constructed a space of warm woods and rustic touches, with booths, high-tops, a window counter, a communal table, an l-shaped bar, and a tiled gas-fired pizza oven in the back. There, chef John Dilemme (formerly of Del Posto and Lupa in New York City) fires a succinct menu of pies (starting at $18) on organic-flour crusts. The simplest is a mozzarella cheese and herb pie; among the more unorthodox is one topped with Vermont maple syrup and white Cheddar cheese, plus mozzarella and a drizzled egg yolk. Rotating weekly specials draw on what's around — this week, that included a pie topped with mozzarella, ramps, asparagus, sheeps-milk ricotta and preserved lemon for $27. All are also offered in a doughless "hot skillet" style or on gluten-free crusts. Desserts include the much-ballyhooed cherry pie from Youngs Farm in Old Brookville.

Vermont served as an inspiration in multiple ways for Robinson, who somehow has secured hard-to-get craft beers such as the almost mythic IPAs Heady Topper and Sip of Sunshine from Lawson's Finest Liquids; beers from a few local and beyond breweries fill out the six taps. The wine list combines thoughtful by-the-glass (BTG) wines with bottles from low-intervention, small-scale producers such as Ariana Occhipinti in Sicily and Forlorn Hope in the Napa Valley.

Piñon's is open Sunday to Thursday from 4:30 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4:30 to 11 p.m. Closed Monday.

Piñon's Pizza Company, 23 Birch Hill Rd., Locust Valley. 516-801-3200. pinonspizza.com.

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