Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pizza for Breakfast at Tufino

Tufino's new brunch pizzas will be available this coming weekend
Tufino Pizzeria Napoletana | 36-08 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria | 718-278-4800 |

Tufino Pizzeria Napoletana has only been open a few weeks on Ditmars in Astoria, but already Pizzaiolo and Owner Stephen Menna is changing things up a bit.  Besides a killer lunch special ($10 for a choice of soup with either a margherita pie, marinara pie, or panini), he has been gradually working on a fried version of his pizza, along with a few pie-shaped brunch specials.

The deep-fried and decadent version of the neapolitan pie begins with the hand-stretched crust dropped in the fryer, removed, crowned with sauce and fior di latte, then baked in the oven for the perfect marriage of toppings.  Excess oil is cooked off in the gourmet inferno, resulting in a crispy-coated, chewy-centered crust reminiscent of a large savory zeppole or funnel cake.  

The pizza is essentially an open-faced version of the fried calzone already available on the menu--a standout favorite of patrons--stuffed with fresh ricotta, fior di latte, prosciutto, and black pepper.  Other outrageously delicious fried treats at this friggitoria (Neapolitan fried treats shop) include enormous potato croquettes stuffed with fontina and prosciutto, grapefruit-sized arancini plumped with sausage, and a soppresata-stuffed loaf of breaded mozzarella.

But the real reason for rejoicing is Menna's new addition of brunch pizzas, available on the weekends beginning this coming Saturday.  The version above is topped with fontina, pancetta, crumbled Italian sausage, and leeks, with two eggs cracked directly on the pizza before baking.  Other variations will include a maple-sausage pie, literally a sausage pizza drizzled with maple syrup--all of which make pizza in the morning an actual event to anticipate rather than merely chilled leftovers from the night before!

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