Queens Gazette

MACOLETTA BRICK OVEN PIZZERIA

 

 

On June 24th, Macoletta Brick Oven Pizzeria will celebrate its fourth anniversary on the breezy corner of 24th Avenue and 29th Street, serving authentic brick oven pizza and homemade pasta, cocktails, and fine wine all at fair prices. You’re invited to join the festivities with live music, delicious food, and a great vibe.

Macoletta was opened by gracious owner, Walid Idriss, who named it after his friend’s bakery in Padua, Italy. Managers Darby and Georgia make everyone feel welcome and ensure excellent service. The décor is rustic with wood beam ceilings and stone floors softly lit by industrial lights. Central to the dining room is the copper-domed pizza oven, which came from Verona, Italy in pieces, then re-constructed on-site. It has a clever rotating stone platform that evenly cooks the bubbling pizzas and leaves the chefs free to prepare the hand made pasta, right there in the open kitchen.

Start with one of their inventive cocktails with names like “Tell Me I’m Pretty,” “Let That Man Go,” and “Daisy’s Delight.” My caipirinha was perfectly mixed and there’s a Happy Hour Monday to Friday from 3pm-6pm with discounted cocktails, wine, and beer. Thursdays offer live jazz at 7pm and half price bottles of wine $50+. These refreshing cocktails and fine wines go very well with a cheese board or charcuterie board. Can’t decide? The chef will prepare an impressive combination of their savory, imported prosciutto, crudo, salami, and bresaola along with buttery imported cheeses and plenty of warm bread from the pizza oven. Shishito peppers are quite popular, as is the eggplant parmigiana appetizer, and savory, homemade meatballs that taste like nonna’s ($15). Cool fennel salad hits the spot and the creamy bur- rata salad is set upon spicy arugula and cherry tomatoes. Kudos for the paper-thin octopus carpaccio salad dressed with extra virgin olive oil, capers, parsley, and mandarin orange slices that provide a sweet counter- point to the briny octopus ($18).

 

 

 

 

Give Macoletta 100 seconds and 600 degrees to present you with a perfectly char- red, bubbling pizza, made to order with your choice of top- pings. There are 20 varieties of pizza, all made with their secret recipe dough, which takes 48 hours to reach fluffy perfection. The most popular pie is the Diablo, topped with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, spicy salami, Calabrian chili, and a touch of honey for a juxtaposition of flavors and textures. The classic Margherita resembles the flag of Italy with red tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fragrant basil leaves ($16 small / $28 large). “Algerino” pizza nods to its Middle Eastern influence with succulent lamb sausage, smoked shallots, fontina cheese, roasted tomatoes, fresh rosemary and oregano. Despite my best efforts, I had to have “just one more slice, please.” The “Crudo” pizza has tomatoes, mozzarella, arugula, prosciutto, and Reggiano Parmigiano. Macoletta is proud to serve vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free pizzas as well, such as the “Harizza” with homemade harissa, cauliflower, zucchini, artichokes, and cherry tomatoes ($17 / $30). All pizzas at Macoletta are available in a small size for 1-2 people, or large, which feeds 3-4 people. Call for delivery to your home or office or order from their website.

It doesn’t end with pizza, as Macoletta’s chefs prepare homemade pasta every day and cook it to order right in the open kitchen. Diners can even eat at stools overlooking the kitchen and pizza oven. “Cacio e Pepe” is a classic Roman dish of tonnarelli pasta with cheese and black pepper, served with shaved Pecorino Romano cheese ($18). My linguine with fresh cherry-stone clams was wonderfully fresh and satisfying, and fettuccine with porcini mushrooms is a woodsy, hearty dish. Rigatoni Bolognese is made with rich, meaty sauce and the vegetarian fettuccine Alfredo is creamy and delicious.

Save room for dessert at Macoletta with house- made, fluffy tiramisu, panna cotta with berry com-pote, vegan chocolate cake, cannoli, and Nutella pizza that kids and adults will fight over. They have a great lunch menu too served Monday to Friday from noon to 4pm with pizza and pasta at affordable prices.

Host your private pizza making class at Macoletta for up to eight people or plan a group dinner outside on the patio. Visit their website for photos, menus and place your order right there for delivery, or through Grubhub. Macoletta Brick Oven Pizzeria is open seven days a week from noon until 10pm on weekdays and from 11am to 10pm on weekends. Congratulations to Macoletta on your fourth anniversary in Astoria, with a second location opening soon in Williamsburg!

28-15 24th Avenue, Astoria – 718.777.4992  www.macoletta.com

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