By Janee and Lizzie
Whether it’s stopping by for a quick slice of pizza or staying for a three-course dinner, Gino’s Pizzeria in Huntington village is sure to please the senses.
Owner Nick Salerno worked at his grandfather’s pizzeria as a youngster, eventually realizing a passion for food when he turned 12, the same age he created his first 18-inch pizza.
As he worked on that first pie, Salerno hit by the pressure of his grandfather breathing over his shoulder. Once complete, it was a sigh of relief and a rush of excitement for the young pizza maker.
Now 26, Salerno has been running Gino’s Pizzeria out of its 318 Main St. for nearly one full year. The spot is one of several locations owned by his family, including La Focaccia in Melville and Pompeii Pizzeria and Restaurant in Rocky Point, said Salerno, of Huntington.
“We basically wanted to have a gourmet eatery, quick, casual, dine in and dine out,” Salerno said in regards to the 1,900-square-foot space, which seats 36. “We wanted to add that aspect to this town -- add more competition and a little bit of choice.”
And Gino’s certainly does.
The pizzeria provides everything from classic pies like the regular, Sicilian, and grandma, to more complex pizzas like the bacon mac and cheese (large $21.95; slice $3.95), spinach artichoke dip (large $24.95; slice $3.95) and the vodka pizza (large $19.95; slice $3.25), which is made on a crunchy thin crust with homemade vodka cream sauce, and is a popular choice among foodies.
Pies are made fresh every day at Gino’s, and Salerno said the pizzeria chooses a healthy alternative when it comes to preparing its food.
Some pizzerias use cheap cheeses, but Gino’s promises only “true whole milk mozzarella” with “no water added.”
We also “use a true plum tomato… [And] all our chicken, veal, eggplant is baked across the board, nothing is fried.
That’s another healthy alternative, “that’s very important for a lot of different people,” he added.
To go along with your pizza, one of three different types of garlic knots are a must, traditional (six for $2.50), pepperoni ($1 each) or the mouthwatering three-cheese garlic knot ($1 each).
But don’t stop there. Gino’s also offers three-course meals.
The house salad, which is included as a side with Gino’s entrees, makes for a perfect start to the meal. Complete with onions, roasted red pepper, tomato, olives, and cucumbers, the salad is complete with homemade roasted red pepper vinaigrette dressing that is light, sweet and makes every bite refreshing.
Appetizers like fried calamari ($9.95), six-piece fried ravioli ($9.50), or the rice ball ($4.25) are also available, and are a great way to kick off a meal.
Then top it off with dishes incorporating fresh chicken, veal or seafood ($17.95-$27.95, with salad, garlic sticks, semolina rolls and choice of pasta).
One particular dish, the pasta with clam sauce ($14.95), can be served in white wine or red plum tomato sauce, delivering a succulent texture and a perfect balance for the taste buds as the fish portion of the dish doesn’t overpower the light lemony flavor of the sauce.
Finishing up with dessert, foodies may gravitate toward the cinnabon zeppole, which melt in the mouth in just one bite. They’re tossed in powdered sugar and cinnamon, and draped in homemade cream cheese icing that streams down from the top, complementing the cinnamon flavor.
As for Nutella lovers, don’t forget to try the s’mores Nutella, made on a fresh thin pizza crust. Crunchy from the crushed graham crackers, the Nutella and marshmallow mixture delivers a gooey delight.
This July will mark the first year of Gino’s in Huntington. So far, Salerno said the customer feedback has been great.
“As long as the food’s good, the customer service is good… you can’t lose,” he said. “We’re very fortunate.”
318 Main St., Huntington
Hours: Monday-Wednesday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sunday 12 p.m.-9:30 p.m.