The Downtown Café gets a ‘pizza’ the action


Glen Cove’s own The Downtown Cafe attended the Pizza and Pasta Northeast Expo during the weekend of Oct. 17, where hundreds of restaurateurs gathered in Atlantic City, N.J., to share and show off their saucy skills.

During the main pizza-making challenge — The Caputo Cup — pizza-preneurs competed in four categories: Traditional, Non-traditional, Pizza Napoletana/STG and Gluten-Free.

The Downtown Café had three of its staff compete in three of the categories. Manager Shawn Scoyni won second place in Non-traditional for his Ahi Tuna Pizza — fresh seared tuna with homemade mango bruschetta on a sesame seed crust topped with wasabi drizzle.

Co-owner Frankie Basile came in fourth in his first competition in the Traditional category with his “The Winners Circle” pizza. Basile’s pizza of three different mozzarellas was topped with black truffle burrata and red and yellow Piennolo tomatoes grown at the foot of Mt. Vesuvius.

John Zozzaro, the other co-owner, competed in both pizza and pasta categories this year. He came in tenth place in the Non-traditional category with his pizza “getting figgy with it,” consisting of fried Montanara pizza dough with fresh mozzarella, figs, goat cheese, prosciutto and fig jam, topped with a homemade arugula pesto. In the pasta competition, Zozzaro came in fifth for his frutti di mare dish with fresh clams, mussels, calamari, shrimp and spicy peppadew peppers, topped with hot oil.

Basile, Zozzaro, Scoyni and the rest of The Downtown Café staff are thrilled with the results of their Northeast competition, and they are looking forward to bringing home the dough in March when they head to Las Vegas for the 34th International Pizza Expo, the world’s largest industry show. For more information on The Downtown Café, visit