Pizza: 10 Long Island pies worth the drive

A margherita pizza is served at The Pie

(Credit: Kirsten Luce)

You don't need us to tell you where to get the best slice in your town; you've already got that place on speed dial. Indeed, there are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of terrific local pizzerias in Nassau and Suffolk counties. What we're focusing on here are Long Island's destination pies, great artisanal pizzas made with small-batch dough, fresh mozzarella, carefully sourced toppings and baked in a wood- or coal-fired oven. From New Hyde Park to Westhampton Beach, here are 10 pizzas worth the drive. --ERICA MARCUS, erica.marcus@newsday.com

  • Critic rating 2
    This modest little Greenvale trattoria does pretty much

    Centro Cucina: proscuitto $$ | Pizza, Italian 43C Glen Cove Rd. Greenvale The prosciutto pie is topped with an abundance of prosciutto, arugula, cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and shaved Parmesan.

  • In the summer of 2010, the North Fork

    Grana: rosa bianca $$ | Pasta, Italian, Panini, Pizza 1556 Main Rd. Jamesport A locavore-pizzavore dream, the supernal Rosa Bianca is made with local potatoes, red onions with rosemary. A locavore-pizzavore dream.

  • Critic rating 1
    When Frank Ciolli bought Grimaldi's coal-fired pizzeria in

    Grimaldi's: margherita $$ | Italian, Pizza, Restaurant 980 Franklin Ave. Garden City The Margherita pizza is classic New York, almost lavishly topped with chopped tomato and fresh mozzarella that would sink a lesser crust. But Grimaldi's rises to the challenge.

  • The back wall of this otherwise unassuming-looking deli

    Piccolo Gourmet: baci Caterers, Shopping, Italian 1632 Hillside Ave. New Hyde Park The baci is a genius amalgam of smoked mozzarella, pancetta and thinly sliced red onions.

  • Critic rating 1
    Here's a crust with real integrity, puffy but

    The Pie: margherita $ | Pizza 216 Main St. Port Jefferson Here's a crust with real integrity, puffy but substantial and not too tender.

  • Westhampton's Pizzetteria Brunetti probably makes the most authentic

    Pizzettteria Brunetti: vongole bianca $$ | Italian, Pizza 103 Main St. Westhampton Beach The simplest toppings tend to be the best, and the absolute pinnacle is the vongole bianca (white clam) topped with fresh-shucked local clams, garlic butter and herbs.

  • Critic rating 2.5
    This spiffy, stylish Red Tomato was opened a

    Red Tomato: quattro stagioni $$ | Pasta, Pizza, Salads 6245 Northern Blvd. East Norwich The quattro stagioni, with flour and tomatoes imported from Italy, is indeed "four seasons" with quadrants topped with ham, olives, mushrooms and artichokes.

  • Sacramone in East Meadow makes two fine classic

    $item.instanceof Sacramone's: mama's old-fashioned Sacramone's mama's old-fashioned is topped first with hand-crushed San Marzano tomatoes, then slices of fresh mozzarella, then fresh garlic and basil.

  • Salvatore's makes its own mozzarella and uses canned

    Salvatore's: sausage $ | Restaurant, Italian, Kids, Pizza 124 Shore Rd. Port Washington If I were limited to one LI pizza for the rest of my life, it would be this sausage pie. The crust is a dream, crisp but pliant, the topping is a balanced meld of fresh, milky mozzarella and chunky chopped tomatoes punctuated with blobs of crumbled sausage.

  • I'm usually dismayed by non-Italian elements on my

    San Marzano: caprino $ | Pizza 38 Merrick Ave. Merrick The caprino pie is a surprisingly harmonious assemblage of fontina, goat cheese, caramelized onions, shiitake and button mushrooms, garlic and truffle oil. What really puts it over the top is the excellent crust.

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