From fig and prosciutto to smoked salmon with fromage blanc, creative chefs' flatbreads can help you venture out of the pizza box.
Brewology Gastro Pub
Brewology Gastro Pub, Speonk: At this beer-focused gastropub, the flatbreads are oval in shape and cut into four pieces. Pictured is the Sweet thyme flatbread, featuring sweet sausage, fresh thyme, mixed mushrooms and goat cheese. There are two other varieties on the menu, one with steak, the other with roasted cherry tomatoes.
Cirella's at Saks Fifth Avenue
Cirella's at Saks Fifth Avenue, Huntington Station: Flatbreads, served on wooden boards, nearly overhang the small tables at this popular department store cafe. They're cut into eight pieces and can be shared as an appetizer or eaten as an entire lunch. A standout is the "Saksay" topped with grilled chicken, bacon, spinach, honey mustard, Gorgonzola and red onion.
Vinoco Wine Bar & Tapas Restaurant
Vinoco Wine Bar and Tapas Restaurant, Mineola: The Catalan-style flatbread at this small-plates spot is oval in shape, usually cut straight across into six rectangular pieces. This month, it shares the menu with two other flatbreads, one a vegetarian falafel version, the other topped with mushrooms and cheese. Pictured is the Serrano ham "coca," or flatbread, topped with figs infused with Port, caramelized onion, Monterey Jack cheese and Serrano ham.
Seasons 52, Garden City: At this calorie-counting national chain, flatbreads may be ordered as an appetizer. You also can get a half flatbread with soup or salad at lunch. They're rectangular in shape and cut into eight little triangles. "The crust is really thin -- almost like a thin cracker," says executive chef Seth Barton. The blackened steak and blue cheese flatbread is a must-try. At 450 calories, it features cremini mushrooms, spinach and caramelized onions.
Abeetza Next Door
Abeetza Next Door, Greenvale: At this trattoria attached to a pizzeria and market, chef-owner Joseph DeLorenzo features a hearty oval flatbread that's most frequently ordered as an appetizer. Cut into six pieces, it feeds one hungry eater or two not-so-hungry ones. Pictured is Doc's flatbread with sausage, broccoli rabe and house-made ricotta.
Good Eats Cafe
Good Eats Cafe, Amityville: The goat cheese/arugula (pictured) and grilled vegetable flatbreads at this health-minded eatery are bright and savory.
Amerrickana Tapas and Bar
Amerrickana Tapas and Bar, Merrick: Chef Howard Fay's flatbread -- with Mission fig jam, prosciutto, caramelized onion and Fontina cheese -- closely resembles the one he made when he was chef de cuisine at Todd English's Figs restaurant at LaGuardia Airport. "I put a little rosemary and thyme into the dough to give it a little different taste," Fay said. "And I roll it out instead of hand-stretching it." It's usually cut into five or six triangular slices when served.
Bin 56, Huntington: Cocas, or Spanish-style flatbreads, are featured daily at this little wine and tapas spot. Toppings vary according to what's seasonally available, said chef Bruno Oliveira, who added that the flatbreads are rectangular and cut into eight squares. A popular one features Monterey Jack cheese, prosciutto, roasted red peppers and balsamic vinegar.
Parlay Gastropub, Rockville Centre: This hip, boisterous newcomer serves a rectangular flatbread that's cut into five smaller rectangles. It works as an individual or shared appetizer -- by itself or in combination with another flatbread. The barbecue duck version, topped with barbecue duck, poblano chilies, cheddar and green onion, is one of the most popular, said manager Max Kalata, who also called it "the most original."
Topping Rose House
Topping Rose House, Bridgehampton: At this elegant restaurant within a luxury hotel, executive chef Kyle Koenig offers this clever riff on bagels and lox. Available only at lunch, it starts with grilled dough that's given a "nice schmear" of fromage blanc, topped with thinly sliced smoked salmon and a brunoise of red onion, caperberry, plus a sprinkling of "everything" spices. For an extra charge, you also get some caviar. The oval is cut into four triangular pieces.
Bluestone Tavern, West Sayville: From executive chef John Menz comes this flatbread, every bit as round as a pizza and topped with chipotle shrimp, grilled pineapple, manchego cheese and tomato-cilantro relish. Arguably, the unconventional combination of ingredients, with its spicy-sweet interplay, sets it into the flatbread category. It's served cut into eight wedges.