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Saverio's pizzeria in North Massapequa opens Italian-inspired outdoor space

Margherita pizza at Saverio's Authentic Pizza Napoletana in

Margherita pizza at Saverio's Authentic Pizza Napoletana in North Massapequa. Credit: Hannah Palmer Egan

Once there were parking spots, now it’s a peaceful oasis. In North Massapequa, Saverio’s Authentic Pizza Napoletana has transformed its car-park into a spacious new seating area.

In the era of COVID-19 dining restrictions, the tent — dubbed "Piazza Saverio"— adds seating for 40 visitors. Which means that on busy summer nights, you won’t have to wait quite so long for one of owner Saverio "Sam" Cataldo’s crush-worthy Neapolitan pies, with its zippy marinara, tender crust and just-enough melt-y homemade mozzarella.

The tent is accessed via a garden gate on Pine Street, around the corner from the Broadway storefront the pizzeria shares with A & S Pork Store & Deli. Sprays of greenery mark the entry; inside, a splashy display of vines and flowers hangs overhead, while silk roses and lemon trees color the perimeter.

Cataldo said a trip to Italy’s Amalfi Coast, where his wife Emily’s family is from, inspired the décor. "We went to [Ristorante Pizzeria] Giardiniello in Minori," he said, "and they have it all done like this with the plants overhead. Emily wanted to do something like that here."

Planters lush with gardenia and basil adorn a patio space behind the tent, where a shipping container serves as an annex galley kitchen. On busy nights, Cataldo fires up the wood oven inside, and guests can order directly through the service window. Plush couches and lounge chairs invite visitors to linger — perhaps with a cocktail — while a service bar ensures that drinks won’t be long in coming.

"Piazza Saverio" is now open at Saverio’s Authentic Pizza Napoletana/A & S Pork Store & Deli Tuesday through Sunday starting at 11:30 a.m.; 929 N. Broadway, Massapequa, 516-799-0091, saveriospizza.com.

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