By Mark Butcavage, Video Editor
It should come as no surprise that as both a college student and someone who isn't a complete lunatic, pizza has a very high priority on my food list. While pizza is generally not hard to make, it is incredibly hard to make well, and for that reason, our country is littered with thousands of pizzerias that can make a pie that's "just alright." Sacramone's, a new restaurant opened on the Hempstead Turnpike, makes a pizza so far from mediocre that you'd be hard pressed to find another pizzeria in a 25-mile radius making pizza this good. I hesitate to be hyperbolic, but Sacramone's may be the best pizza I have ever had.
Owners and brothers Anthony and Domenico Sacramone aren't new to the pizza scene. Both opened Sac's Place in Astoria over 20 years ago in Astoria, Queens, and have been voted the best coal-oven pizza in New York City several times over. Their success really comes as no surprise. All of their recipes come from their mother, and are made in the Abruzzese tradition; a region of Italy associated with lighter, more rustic fare. All of the ingredients, down to the flour in the crust, are also imported straight from Italy. To be fair, this is the most authentic pizza you will find in the area. The coal-fired element gives a great char to the crust that is at no point bitter, a problem you will often encounter with coal- or fire-oven pizza. The sauce, made purely from tomatoes from Italy, plays the line between subtle and sweet without being too much of either, and gives the pizza a wonderful rustic taste. After three slices I was satisfied, but not bogged down by the starch in the crust as you may feel after a few slices of pizza.
Sacramone's does not stop at pizza. It has a full menu of standard Italian fare, which like the pizza, does not disappoint. Fried calamari and shrimp, caught fresh and delivered that day, are wonderfully fresh and taste as if they were caught right out back. The polenta was wonderfully light and done to perfection, a great appetizer to split between two or three people. Then there was the beet salad. Growing up with a Polish grandmother, beets were always from the can and boiled with little fanfare. They were, let's face it, revolting. These beets, on the contrary, were sweet and creamy, countered with fresh arugula, goat cheese and walnuts. Finally, I was treated to a standard baked ziti with the restaurant's homemade red sauce. For something so simple, it really delivered on all fronts, most notably the generous amount of baked mozzarella piled on top.
Overall, it was hard to find anything disagreeable about the menu or the restaurant. Do not be put off by the fine dining atmosphere, white cloth napkins or the décor, everything on the menu is reasonably priced considering the quality, with most entrees remaining under the 20 dollar mark. Owner Anthony Sacramone will make you feel right at home; making sure everything is done to your liking and skilled waiters are able to answer any questions you may have. My only complaint is the distance, a ten-minute drive down the Hempstead Turnpike, but it's negligible. Even if you aren't in the mood to dine in, they also offer call ahead and take-out. I strongly encourage everyone to go and check this place out, as you will be hard-pressed to find a better pizza outside of New York City.