From a very young age, Salvatore Cucullo knew what he wanted to do. Working with his father and two uncles in New Rochelle, he made his first pizza at age 11 and hasn’t looked back. In May 2010, he purchased and opened The 808 Bistro, a quiet, cozy spot to dive into a delicious Italian menu. Fast-forward to August 2016, when he and three partners opened 808 Social just up the road from the original restaurant. The idea was to create a casual, buzzy place where people wanted to just come and hang out, while enjoying the same Italian soul food that Cucullo had always been known for.
That includes 808 Social’s gluten-free pizza, made with dough brought directly over from the Flourish Baking Company (these two are literal neighbors). Continuing the idea of bringing in local ingredients, Hutchinson Farms delivers fresh veggies daily. The menu has plenty of traditional apps, pastas, and pizzas, but also some out of the box items like beet chips and seafood sausage worth trying. Some of the top dishes I tried are profiled here:
Italian Egg Roll
I’m not going to lie. When I heard that an Italian joint was putting out an egg roll, I was slightly suspicious. I’ve been tricked down this path before. But Cucullo told me about his work in Japan (he was hired to consult on teaching restaurants there about making New York-style pizza), it was easy to understand the connection. These sausage and pepper-filled egg rolls were the most unique item on the menu and are a must order.
Stuffed Long Hot Peppers
Cucullo’s favorite item on the menu is the long hot pepper stuffed with cheese (ricotta and Parmesan), hot and sweet soppressata and charred to perfection. This super spicy appetizer works on so many levels. It’s a perfect size to share and won’t scorch your mouth too badly. You’ll need what’s left of your taste buds for the rest of the meal.
The Bocce Ball
A meatball that is truly the size of a bocce ball, this is a masterpiece of flavors. The beef and veal hybrid is topped with house marinara and finished with basil-cracked pepper ricotta that sits on top like a hat. The perfect bite is a blend of the meatball with the cheesy top.
The true test of any pizza place is their thin and crispy Margherita. The fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil blend to make the 808 Social Margherita into a perfect round. It’s not overly large, but it’s perfect for sharing and allows you to order a few for the table. I can’t wait to return to try the meatball, spicy salami, or white varieties.
Cucullo, along with partners Michael Mondrone and Frank Valenti, have created a truly special place to enjoy delicious food amid a stylish atmosphere.
185 Summerfield St, Scarsdale