When she opened Talluci’s in Farmingdale, Danielle Cataffo was determined to think outside the pizza box. The second-generation pizzeria owner rethought everything, from the dining room’s décor to the shape of the pies.
Talluci’s opened in a strip mall across from Farmingdale State College in late 2015 and has been picking up steam ever since, thanks, in part, to its highly Instagrammable fare (follow along at @talluci_pizza). With its exposed ductwork, reclaimed wood siding and marble countertops, it looks more like a chic gastropub than a neighborhood slice joint. And the pies on the counter are rectangular, not round. “Everyone loved our grandma crust, which gets baked twice — once when it’s just the dough, and then after it’s ‘dressed.’” Cataffo said. “So we decided to make the rest of the pizzas the same way.”
Not all of the pizzas, though. Talluci’s makes a round deep-dish pizza filled with sausage, peppers and onions and topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella. “To me it tastes like an Italian street fair,” she said.
Talluci’s also serves a number of unorthodox pizzas, chief among them the bacon-egg-cheese pie. “We’re right across from a college and next to a bagel place. In the morning I’d see the kids split up because some of them wanted breakfast. So I made a breakfast pizza.”
In addition to pizzas ($18 to $22 for an eight-slice pie; $4 to $5 for most specialty slices), Talluci’s serves calzones, appetizers, salads, heros, sandwiches (on homemade focaccia) and pasta. Pizzaiolo Danato Nortesano, a native of Naples, also makes his own brick-oven loaves that come out of the oven around 2 p.m. on weekdays.
Talluci’s derives its name from Cataffo’s niece, Tallula, and daughter, Lucia. The mash-up was the inadvertent invention of Arthur Cataffo who, in addition to being her father and the girls’ grandfather, is a partner in the business. Back in the 1970s, he owned a pizzeria, University Pizza, in this very same shopping center, and then went on to own Carrington’s in Melville, The Grill Room in Hauppauge and Pasta Cucina in Farmingdale.
Talluci’s Pizzeria is at 1249 Melville Rd., Famingdale, 631-390-9684.