Two pizzerias with wood-burning ovens have opened this year on the East End, and business is good. Grana, in Jamesport on the North Fork, opened its doors on July 14, and Pizzetteria Brunetti, in Westhampton Beach, lit its first fire for customers Memorial Day weekend.
At Grana, run by husband and wife team Nancy and David Plath, the pizza tends toward the robust; the six-slice pies emerge from the oven with generous amounts of sausage (from Framani in San Francisco) and melted cubes of homemade mozzarella, or a creative mixture of red onion, Parmesan, thinly sliced Long Island potatoes, rosemary and olive oil, to name two. The house special, the Grana, doesn’t have tomato sauce, but the ricotta-based “Grana sauce,” which contains garlic and herbs. The oven, fed with kiln-dried, bark-free wood from Long Island Firewood, is made by Northern California-based Mugnaini. David spent years taking baking classes and researching pizza on this continent and in Europe, tiled the outside and spends much of his day feeding it his pies. Son David watches and slips them out when done.
Meanwhile, tucked in next to the Häagen-Dazs on Main Street in Westhampton Beach, the father-and-son team of Michael and Jason Brunetti run Pizzetteria Brunetti in front of a 1,000 degree Acunto oven, made and shipped from Naples, where the kind of pizza the Brunettis are going all out to emulate got its start and achieved its fame. At Brunetti one pizza goes in the oven at a time, and with constant supervision it is fully cooked within 60 to 90 seconds.
The pizza here is dinner-plate size and comes sliced in fours. Like Grana, the ingredients are exceptional and the mozzarella homemade. This time of year the Brussels sprouts-pancetta pizza was a favorite, as was the thin-crusted calzone stuffed with ricotta and prosciutto and served with a hot side of tomato sauce. “Take the middle bite,” says Michael Brunetti, while his son leans forward to see how you like it.