Pizza returns to the Center
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Well, we've gone, in a couple of months, from no pizza at all to all the pizza you could ask for with at least three establishments on the Island now offering the savory discs.
Tony and John Riccobono have just opened Bella Vita Pizza Restaurant in the old Primo's location in the Center, and if you were looking for variety, this place is going to be a hit. The menu offers no less than 24 kinds of pizza and then goes far beyond that to full Italian meals. Start with an appetizer — shrimp cocktail, baked clams, bruscetta, calamari, wings and fingers, salads, garlic bread and more — then belly up to a pasta dish (again dozens of choices). Then, if you've got any room left, move into some chicken, veal or seafood. How about a little mussels vino blanco, or the broiled tilapia with panko bread crumbs?
There are just two things the brothers aren't offering, at least not yet. They won't carry you from the table back to your car, and they don't deliver.
They explained that getting a permit to deliver now requires going through an extremely complicated bureaucratic process plus taking out additional insurance. As a new business, they can't take all that on right now. But delivery is on their minds and it may be offered in the future if the demand is there.
Tony and John Riccobono have been in the Italian restaurant business for more than 20 years, so they know what they're doing. Among other enterprises, the brothers ran pizza restaurants in Riverhead owned by the Scher family who operated Primo's, so they had an inside track when the place became available. On early visits they “fell in love with the Island,” and made it known that if the restaurant ever became available, they wanted to be the first to know. The brothers are well aware that at least two other establishments here are cranking out pizzas, but they're not worried. “Competition is good,” says Tony.
At the end of the interview, as John in his snappy chef's jacket headed back into the kitchen, he called over his shoulder, “Don't forget to tell him we use only the finest ingredients.” Judging from the aromas that hung in the air, this was no false advertising.
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