The Unlikely Pizzaiolo (CLOSED)

Our county has its share of quality pizzerias, but this one threw me for a loop with its oven, a Pavesi Twister—wood-burning on one side, gas on the other. Its round stone base rotates like a turntable. Speed it up, slow it down, put it in reverse—it’s a hybrid, meant for ease and control.

With such interesting pizza goings-on, you might not know that you’re also here for dessert (more on that later).

Chef Philippe Flory, a pastry chef from Nice, is an unlikely pizzaiolo, but he turns out pies with an airy crust, some chew, nice bubbles, and a lightly charred undercarriage, using high-gluten and 00 flour baked at 700°F. Specialty pies include pissaladièrre (Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, olives, cherry tomatoes, and cherry peppers). He bakes bread and cooks polpettini (meatballs) in the same oven, in view of the counter. The local families filling the year-old restaurant speak to casual good quality, and there’s live folk/country music on Wednesday nights.

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I loved an appetizer of diced avocado with crabmeat and capers, and enjoyed kale and white-bean soup. Pastas, especially homemade gnocchi, are a good bet, and there’s a full Italian menu. But save room. Warm chocolate cake, worth an extra wait, arrives on a chocolate-brushed plate with scoops of mango, raspberry, and vanilla ice cream, its molten core lying in wait in a rich shell. Profiteroles rest like eggs on a meringue nest that bends, breaks, and blends. Key-lime pie disappeared before I could taste much, and customers talk up the warm apple tarte. But you wouldn’t be remiss to order the cookie plate, with miniature elephant ears, nut cookies, mini brownies,
and biscotti.

End with espresso served with biscotti and a traditional lemon peel on the side. How did I not know about this? Lemon peel with espresso henceforth.

76 Main St, Irvington, (914) 591-5800;

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