If you’ve entered the Port Chester Metro-North station house recently, your mind may have been blown by the renovations. There’s still a cashier at the ticket window until 2 p.m. and stacks of MTA train schedules, but at 4 p.m. each day, the space turns into a coal-fired pizza place, appropriately named Station House.
Part of the same restaurant group that owns Village Beer Garden next door and Rye House on Main Street, Station House maintains the building’s late 19th-century charm; chandeliers, exposed brick walls, woodwork, and brass fixtures remain. What’s new is the large coal oven, dining tables, and two bars — one close to the alcohol, the other provides a front-row seat to pizzaiolo action.
The pizza is something of a hybrid, according to co-owner Michael Jannetta. “We did months of research, and during it, I ate about 15 slices per day,” he says. “We went to Italy, plus I’m a fan of New York-style pizza, and all the New Haven places, like [Frank] Pepe, so our dough is a mix of styles.”
All that R&D led to dough that contains less than one percent yeast, requiring a long rise (Station House cold ferments the dough for 24 hours), and resulting in a more flavorful, almost sourdough-like taste. After just five minutes in the 550°F oven, it comes out crunchy and slightly charred in the spirit of New Haven pies, but with a New York appearance, and the non-heavy digestive qualities of Neapolitan pizza.
The restaurant’s 12 signature pies include a simple, but well-done Margherita; a New Haven-influenced littleneck clam pie with bacon; and a roasted-mushroom pie with fontina, Parmesan, and parsley (add black-truffle carpaccio for a decadent upgrade). The pepperoni pie with thick-cut pepperoni that curl in the oven (the cool terminology is “roni cup”), causing the spicy, porky oil to well up in the cup was ultimately my favorite.
If you’re not just doing pizza, Station House has other options aside from the complimentary rosemary popcorn you receive when seated. The baseball-sized beef-veal-pork meatballs are a good call (hang on to sauce for pizza-crust dipping), as is their homemade ricotta that’s dressed with honey, lemon juice, and fresh thyme. There are wings, too (because wings and pizza are a perfect pair). Blistered in the coal oven, the result is crackly skin and juicy meat, available Buffalo-style or with thyme, lemon, and caramelized onions. If I was to give you a pre-pizza must-order, it’s the Oysters Beacon, six Blue Points, flashed near the coals, with a slurpable white wine-butter reduction.
Station House’s dessert list includes chocolate cake, Italian cheesecake, and these cannoli with house-made ricotta filling that’s not overly sweet.
There’s a solid craft beer list featuring a handful of local selections, and enough wine by the glass or bottle to keep vino lovers happy. Don’t overlook the craft cocktail program, which uses different predominant spirits in each of the eight drinks.
Port Chester has its fair share of pizza joints, but Jannetta thinks there’s room for Station House. “There’s a hole in the market here for really good pizza,” he says. “So, why not? I think we’re doing something different.” Agreed. I easily crushed the equivalent of a whole pie and then some. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
3 Broad St
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