King Umberto in Elmont debuts a hybrid pizza that honors both New York and Naples styles

Sep 14, 2021 87

BY: Erica Marcus

John Cesarano is a seeker of truth and knowledge. About pizza. For years, the head pizzaiolo (and partner) at King Umberto in Elmont has been exploring artisanal pizza traditions that use more time rather than more yeast to leaven the dough and amplify the flavor of the wheat flour. In 2018, his long, rectangular "metro pie" soon took its place in the pizzeria — alongside grandma, Neapolitan and Sicilian — and became a hit that the pandemic could not stop.

But that wasn’t enough for Cesarano. This summer, when King Umberto expanded its glass-enclosed dining pavilion into a marble-tiled, covered terrace, he set up a little shed along one side of the terrace, got himself a fancy new oven, and started working on his own personal holy grail, a pie that has the structure and refinement of a Naples-style pie, but with the crunch and crackle of New York.

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