The smell of dough baking, the textural elements of crunch and chew, the comforting flavor of home; pizza is one of the few perfect foods. NYC is full of pizzerias trying to capture the perfection of the simple dish and with so many choices Pizzetteria Brunetti in the West Village stands out as comfortable neighborhood hang that will feel familiar to Long Islanders.
It’s the first expansion of the original Westhampton Beach Neapolitan pizza emporium of the same name into the city. You know the Westhampton location as a summer staple, the stall behind the ice cream shop. Physically, the West Village location couldn’t be more different. It’s larger, with outdoor and indoor seating, a cosmopolitan atmosphere and a varied menu that includes non-pizza offerings. And it’s location near two of the city’s biggest attractions–the Highline and the new Whitney Museum of American Art mean it’s bustling all yearlong. But that’s where the differences end. Inside each you’ll find custom built wood burning Neapolitan pizza ovens turning out quality, innovative, mouthwatering pizzas.
Pizzetteria Brunetti has always set itself apart with seasonal specials. Unusual, even in the world of Neapolitan pizza commonly associated with a more creative approach to toppings. This summer it was the Nerano ($23), special which showcases vegetables in season late summer through early fall; its house made burrata, marinated baby heirloom tomatoes, ricotta, arugula pesto, chlodini mushrooms. Pumpkin lovers will rejoice this October when the popular Pumpkin Pizza ($24) returns featuring roasted local pumpkin, chestnut and onion puree, slow cooked smoky pork belly, house smoked mozzarella, Gorgonzola and a spicy fruit mostarda. There’s also a seasonal Thanksgiving pizza that tastes like a complete Thanksgiving dinner with each bite.
The seasonally inspired pies and salads are the brainchild of Jason Brunetti, the sonny half of the father/son team behind the pizzas.
“My recipe development is tied to our seasonal specials–pizzas and salads–so it’s rooted in what is in season and in the traditions associated with the seasons,” Jason said.
Behind everything they do at Pizzetteria Brunetti though are the ingredients. Jason developed the pumpkin pizza with Carlos Villanueva of Cloud Catering who makes the pork belly special for the pie. And the signature Vongolge ($21) of course features fresh shucked and chopped Long Island clams on top of a garlic and herb butter sauce with a fresh parsley finish. The supplier of the Long Island clams makes a special trip into Manhattan a couple of times a week for Pizzetteria Brunetti.
“Underpinning the specials and everything else we do is the quality of the ingredients,” Jason said. “They are always of the highest quality. Skimping on quality is simply not an option for us.”
Between the quality comfort food, the location and modern yet warm feel of the décor, Pizzetteria Brunetti is a welcome respite from the bustle of the city any time of year.