I hadn’t been back to Sacramone's in East Meadow since very soon after the trattoria-pizzeria opened in January. Before we even sat down, I was gratified to see that the original clunky, stubby wineglasses had been replaced with fine stemware. This is only proper, considering Sacramone’s very good wine list.
From that wine list I selected a $27 dolcetto. I’ve never had a bad dolcetto, but this one tasted funny to me and to my pal. Now, sending back wine is just about my least favorite restaurant-related activity; in my whole life I think I’ve done it twice. But we sent this one back, and our waiter could not have been more gracious.
Then, we hit him another challenge: Could he tell us the difference between Sacramone’s “cheese pie” and its “Mama’s Old-Fashioned pie,” both of which are made in the coal-burning oven. Both, according to the menu, involve homemade mozzarella and San Marzano tomatoes, and both the same price, $9.50 for a small. “The cheese pie has shredded mozzarella,” our waiter told us, “the Mama’s has sliced.” I wasn’t sure what would be the effect of these divergent methods of deploying cheese, so we ordered both of them. Our waiter seemed to approve of our little experiment.
(After the fact, I emailed Sacramone’s and got a more detailed explanation: For the cheese pie, the rolled-out dough is topped first with shredded mozzarella, then pureed tomatoes, then a sprinkling of Parmesan and oregano. For Mama’s, right, the dough is topped first with hand-crushed San Marzano tomatoes, then slices of fresh mozzarella, then fresh garlic and basil.)
We enjoyed both pies, though gave a slight edge to Mama’s. The highlights of the meal, though, were the appetizers. A specials menu listed a tomato salad, topped with feta, featuring tomatoes from Sacramone’s own garden (located somewhere in Pennsylvania). It was delicious, the tomatoes interspersed with red onion and red peppers. Even better were the fried baby artichokes.
Sacramone’s is at 2366 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow, 516-513-1919.