Osteria Due Amici
465 Atlantic Ave., East Rockaway
At first glance, Osteria Due Amici appears to be a typical, small pizzeria — pizza oven, open counter, tiled walls, refrigerated beverage cabinet and two tables with chairs. But one taste of their Sicilian Italian food will have you returning. The “pizza men” are actually professionally trained chefs. And the cooking components — top quality cheeses and meats, fresh vegetables, newly cut basil, fine wine for the Marsala sauce — are carefully selected. Here, you’ll find items not usually found in pizzerias, like Sfinglione Pizza (anchovies, onions and breadcrumbs), or Vegetable Latticini (peppers, zucchini, asparagus, eggplant, mozzarella, EVOO and herbs.) And most sauces are made-to-order.
The opening of Osteria last December was a bit of a whim. Owner, Eamon McGowan, who has been in the industry for more than 20 years, was awaiting permits for his soon-to-open restaurant, Smith’s, just down the street. When he saw this location was available, he thought … why not? He adores the town of East Rockaway, he told us, and enjoys being a part if its enhancement. Smith’s, a full-service restaurant, will offer modern American fare with an Irish inspiration.
At Osteria Due Amici we went with the basics. When the basics are good, any add-ons or toppings are just gravy. (Double entendre intended.) We weren’t disappointed. Garlic Bread was a slab of sliced freshly baked bread drizzled with garlic, EVOO and Pecorino cheese. Margherita Pizza was exactly how I love it - very thin crust topped with marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil leaves.
Do not miss their enormous ricotta and mozzarella-filled Calzone, which can be made with other fillings. The dough is fried as opposed to baked (popular in Naples, Italy) resulting in a crunchy decadent half-moon pocket served with marinara sauce.
Entrees are served with your choice of pasta. Chicken Marsala was as fine as it gets, tender filets in savory wine sauce with sliced mushrooms. Penne ala Vodka was creamy yet delicate, in a pink sauce dotted with prosciutto.
Appetizers, salads, Panini, calzones and rolls are $5 to $12. Pastas are $10 to $14, and entrees, $15 and $16. Pizzas are $16 to $26, with about 20 options plus extra toppings.
Osteria Due Amici is open noon to 10:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and noon to midnight on Friday and Saturday. They are closed on Sunday and Monday. Delivery is available to anywhere within a 15-minute radius. Check the website for specials.
■ Garlic Bread
■ Cheese Calzone
■ Margherita Pizza
■ Chicken Marsala
■ Penne ala Vodka