Andrew Bellucci opened his namesake slice and pie joint a couple of month in the past in Astoria, however the origin story goes manner again. Along with working at such NYC greats as Joe’s and Rubirosa, Bellucci was additionally current on the (re)creation of his household’s different restaurant, the legendary Lombardi’s, in 1994. Its first iteration opened manner earlier than that, nevertheless, round 1905, and likewise on Spring Avenue. It’s thought of to be the very first pizzeria within the nation.
So there’s a variety of historical past behind this modest, ordinary-looking pizza place — however you need not know any of it to get enthusiastic about Bellucci. It is a stable new pizzeria, that includes a just-large-enough choice of slices and pies to maintain issues attention-grabbing, run by a man who actually is aware of his stuff. Positively a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
Bellucci’s slices fall squarely into the traditional NYC fold class, with simply sufficient construction to accommodate one-handed, hauling-ass-down-the-street consuming, if obligatory. I wolfed down 4 of those beauties the opposite day whereas standing out in entrance of the place on a chilly and blustery patch of thirtieth Avenue sidewalk, and there are few meals that make me happier, or are as evocative of my total life.
The clear winner is the Vodka-Roni, an excellent recent mozz/pepperoni slice that will get a ladle of zippy vodka sauce dumped on prime simply earlier than serving. It is a bit messy, however you will not care. It is scrumptious. The Sonny Supreme can also be superb, a meat occasion (sausage, pepperoni) with loads of particular company (onions, mushrooms, herbs) to maintain issues leaping.
There is a vegan model of this slice as nicely, referred to as the MIke Tyson and topped with the suddenly-everywhere NUMU “mozzarella” and varied faux meats to respectable impact, although I believe I would skip this one subsequent time. Higher was the Veggie Royale, a vegetarian slice with loads of depth and heft, a bunch of broccoli rabe doing a variety of the great work right here. You may get sauces on the aspect as nicely, together with a crock of tangy Ranch, which is at all times higher on pizza than I keep in mind, and a no-joke Fermented Scorching Sauce, which needs to be utilized with warning.
Pies are available two types: the 18-inch Previous College New York Spherical, and the 12-inch Metropolitans, which can be found in adventurous assemblages just like the Jersey-Licious with Taylor ham, egg, cheese, and Sriracha; the You Say Potato with provolone and Yukon golds; and the Butter Me Up with sausage, broccoli rabe, and brown sage butter. And, if you need, Bellucci will make you a gluten-free model of any Metropolitan pie.
The preliminary plan for Bellucci, manner again in December of 2019, was to open on decrease Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, proper close to the IFC and shut sufficient to Joe’s in order that, because the pizzaiolo mentioned, “the road to eat at my place would lengthen down previous their entrance door.” The pandemic modified all that, however organising store in Astoria, the place Bellucci occurs to stay, turned out to be the smarter transfer anyway. “I at all times needed to run an actual neighborhood joint, and that is positively an actual neighborhood. I’ve met everybody on the block this previous month, and I am unable to wait to maintain feeding all of them.”
Bellucci Pizza is positioned at 2904 thirtieth Avenue, close to twenty ninth Avenue, and is presently open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day (718-971-1074; belluccipizza.com)