L’inizio, an old-school pizzeria located at 47-23 Vernon Boulevard, opened today.
The owner, Tom Blaze, said that the pizzeria offers simplicity—from a casual, homey atmosphere to food cooked with the freshest of ingredients.
Blaze said the pizza is made each day, on site from scratch. All the produce is locally produced and even the mozzarella cheese is made in house.
“We aim to keep all our products as local and organic as possible,” he said.
For now, Blaze is keeping the menu fairly simple—offering items such as pizza by the slice, meatballs, garlic knots, cured meats, salads, and a range of different pies. He said over time he will expand the menu further but his focus is on getting the basics right.
Blaze said that by the end of the month he plans to be offering wine and beer.
Despite the focus on getting back to basics, Blaze has gone to great lengths to create the simple, traditional feel.
The restaurant is noteworthy for its exposed brick walls (adorned by artwork), timber floors and granite counter tops.
There is a large 1950s-style mural on the wall of a woman holding a pizza. Blaze said he had it painted to add to the old-school atmosphere.
The backyard, while ready, cannot be used. Community Board 2 made him pledge not to use it as a condition of getting his liquor license.
Blaze grew up and has lived in Long Island City for most of his life. He is also a broker for Modern Spaces, which is about a block away from his new pizzeria.
The pizzeria is currently open every day except Monday–from lunchtime until late evening. The hours are still being finalized.