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Weekend picks: Chainless pizza

Margherita pizzettes are a popular choice at Pizzetteria

Margherita pizzettes are a popular choice at Pizzetteria Brunetti in Westhampton Beach. (July 12, 2010) Credit: Doug Young

To fortify yourself for Election Day, bite into what's truly "the people's choice" -- pizza.

On Long Island, the beloved pie is available pretty much in all its splendid forms. There are so many local pizzerias that you wonder how it's possible for the mass-market, chain variety to survive, short of home delivery and proximity to a college campus.

Here are a few toppings, picked from the hundreds, where you're assured of a first-class pie -- and a lot more.

* The Pie at Salvatore's in Port Washington and Bay Shore bakes pizzas in a coal-fired brick oven. The result is slighty smoky and consistently first-class, whether you're devoted to the pristine mozzarella-tomato-basil production or the white pizza. There are pastas and calzones, salads and Parmigianas. But you're really here for one great thing.

The Pie at Salvatore's, 124 Shore Rd., Port Washington, 516-883-8457; and 120 E. Main St., Bay Shore, 631-206-1060, salvatorescoalfiredpizza.com

* Are there more Umberto's or more Ray's? Debate all you want, but go to the original Umberto's in New Hyde Park. Reliable Neapolitan and Sicilian, Grandma and white, 10 pizzas by the slice. And contemplate the "pazzo" pie, a thick-crust pan pizza. Yes, you can have the brick-oven and the whole-wheat variety. Also recommended: pasta e fagioli, minestrone, eggplant Parmigiana, lasagna.

Umberto's, 633 Jericho Tpke., New Hyde Park; 516-437-7698, originalumbertos.com

* Pizzetteria Brunetti in Westhampton Beach appeals to purists for its excellent Margherita. Consider the marinara pizza and the garlicky, buttery clam pie, too. The San Gennaro adds ricotta and sausage; the Parma, prosciutto, Parmigiano-Reggiano and a taste of balsamic vinegar reduction. You can't lose. Good wines to go with the pizzas.

Pizzetteria Brunetti, 103 Main St., Westhampton Beach; 631-288-3003, pizzetteriabrunetti.com

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