After years spent finding the finest Italian ingredients, perfecting their own recipe, and observing the emergence of Neapolitan pizzerias in New York City, father-and-son duo Michael and Jason Brunetti opened Pizzetteria Brunetti.
Originating in Westhampton Beach with a location that Michael Brunetti described as the “pizza closet,” Pizzetteria Brunetti has expanded to the West Village with an enjoyably larger location. The West Village location, which opened on Sept. 30, is already garnering attention due to its cult following from Westhampton, its use of high quality, authentic Italian ingredients and the ever-friendly service of the Brunettis and their staff.
“About five years ago I was sitting in a salon — I was reading GQ magazine and I saw an article on the renaissance of Neapolitan pizza,” Brunetti said, recalling how he decided to open Pizzetteria Brunetti.
Brunetti was stirred by the rich history of Neapolitan pizzas, which originated in the same place of his Italian heritage, Naples. Brunetti visited all of the New York City pizzerias that were a part of this Neapolitan style revival, and came up with Pizzetteria Brunetti.
“That was my inspiration, basically my desire to get together with my son and do a business together,” Brunetti said. “Also to revisit my heritage and have this wonderful part of history and this wonderful tradition of food.”
With the West Village location, the Brunetti’s have expanded their menu to include non-pizza dishes such as the popular a’ parmiggiani e’ mulignan ($15), a savory, layered eggplant dish, various salads or their sfizi meatball dishes. The pizzas range in price from $11 to $44, with most around $20.
To the Brunettis, ingredients are essential to the final pie.
“It’s so important to use the kinds of ingredients that were used traditionally in Neapolitan pizza,” Brunetti said.
San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala and Caputo flour are some of the fine ingredients that the Brunetti’s have specially imported from Naples to keep their pizzas authentic and fresh. The Brunettis even imported a specially made wood burning brick oven, nicknamed Bella for its beauty, in order to maintain the Neapolitan cooking traditions.
“The plan of the future is to really get this restaurant running to the quality and level of food and hospitality that we have set for ourselves,” Brunetti said.
Brunetti isn’t set on the locations of future Pizzetterias, but he is definitely happy with the new West Village spot. Customers from all over, including original Westhampton pizza goers, are attracted to the new location. Tisch junior Caroline Kaplin is one of the new Pizzetteria enthusiasts.
“The pizza here is delicious,” Kaplin said. “Although pricey, you are getting exactly what you pay for, top quality, authentic pizza. I definitely recommend it.”
Pizzetteria Brunetti sets itself apart from the myriad of pizza restaurants in New York City in a number of ways, but not in the least with its slogan.
“People deserve the best, to eat well and be treated right,” Brunetti said, reciting the restaurant motto. “I think that that probably sets us apart.”
Pizzetteria Brunetti is located on 626 Hudson St.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Oct. 22 print edition. Helen Owolobi is a staff writer. Email her at [email protected]