Riko’s Thin Crust Pizza found its way more than 50 miles south from Connecticut to New York. The pizza chain opened its first in-state location in Levittown, replacing Faddy Malone's.
Ken Gibbons, who owns this franchise location with Frank Sciremammano, said he was familiar with the Hempstead Turnpike setting. "I knew it growing up. It was not one of those places that kept turning over. If you put a right product here, the community will definitely take you in," he said.
Riko's signature 13-inch bar pies are cooked in a gas conveyor oven set at a temperature over 500 degrees that cooks pies in less than 10 minutes. Nine pizzas make up the menu, including its popular clam (mozzarella, Parmesan, clams, bacon and basil) and Margherita pies, plus chicken (choice of Buffalo, barbecue or teriyaki) and vegetable. The star here, though, is its Hot Oil pizza, a pie that’s doused in a pepper-infused oil.
"It’s not like a shot of whiskey," Gibbons said — it has a bit more than a kick of heat but doesn't burn your throat.
Pizza-wise, customers can DIY a pie from 30 toppings. The kitchen also turns out oven-baked wings (plain, Buffalo, barbecue and teriyaki) and salads, which can be added to any pie crust to create a "salad pizza." Choose from ham salad (rolled sweet ham, lettuce, grape tomatoes, red onion, fire-roasted red peppers, cucumbers and crumbled feta cheese), antipasto (salami, ham, mozzarella, fire-roasted red peppers, grape tomatoes, red onion, crispy lettuce and kalamata olives), garden or Casear, plus six other creations.
Riko’s has a full bar with seating for at least 13 and Plexiglass dividers. Flat-screen TVs and Riko’s founders’ family portraits line the wood-planked walls. The family-friendly restaurant also features al-fresco dining (accessible via roll-up garage doors) and a small section in the back is devoted to takeout orders, which can be picked up at a window.
Riko’s Thin Crust Pizza is at 3120 Hempstead Tpke. in Levittown, open 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays; 516-495-4873. rikospizza.com