Pizzeria La Rosa co-owners Matt DiGesu and Frank Pinello know pizza; the proof is in the first-rate dough, as well as in the fact in how they coveted the 1924 Petersen oven that lay dormant after Modern Pizzeria (now Modern Restaurant & Lounge) moved out of the 12 Russell Avenue space years ago.
Almost everything on the menu at La Rosa is cooked in the wood-fired oven. There are four pizzas: Margherita, white, meatball and veggie plus extra topping options that don’t overwhelm. Additionally on the short menu are three salads, four sides, one pasta dish (rigatoni vodka), and one dessert, tiramisu, finished with a dusting of espresso and a sprinkling of sea salt to set it off. Beer and wine are currently served, and cocktails are coming soon.
The décor is old New York-pizzeria, with white bricks, wooden tabletops, and tiled floors. There’s some seating at the bar upfront, and toward the back, there’s a dining room that is perfect for private parties, and wooden booths right by the kitchen pass. It is here where you might see Pinello expediting orders or mingling with clientele, and where you’ll see DiGesu and his kitchen staff, dressing salads and pizzas, placing and removing food from the converted oven, and drizzling olive oil to finish.
Pizzeria La Rosa doesn’t feel like you’re in Westchester; it may even remind you of Best Pizza in Brooklyn, which Pinello owns and where DiGesu learned the secrets of making a dough that is a Neapolitan and New York combo: just thin enough, yet still delightfully chewy.
Pizzeria La Rosa opened in late October, and word of mouth was all it needed. It recently started lunch hours, and is closed on Mondays; one of the secrets to that ridiculously tender dough. I can’t stop thinking about it, and you may become an addict, too.
12 Russell Ave, New Rochelle
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