As pizza places go, our area certainly has no shortage. But the on the corner of Washington and Hickman Roads in Bridgeville is one you will definitely want to check out.
It’s not your average pizza place. For one thing, everything is made fresh. Plus they have a huge selection of pasta, sandwiches, burgers, chicken and seafood entrees.
Celebrating their 10th anniversary in last November, they were called Steel City Pizza for a short time but changed their name back to the original. The owner and head chef, Basil Pappas has restaurants in his blood. His family owned seven restaurants in Philadelphia and New Jersey, where he started cooking at the age 12.
My family kind of stumbled on this place by accident and has gone back several times since. On our first visit, we just ordered pizza and wings because we had a large group and it was the easiest thing. Lucky for us, easy ordering helped us discover one of the best kept secrets in Bridgeville.
The wings were huge, cooked to a perfect firmness (I hate rubbery wings) and the Buffalo sauce was just the right amount of heat. They were a huge hit with my three football-player nephews and my dad, who grew up in Buffalo and frequented the original Anchor Bar. A pretty tough bunch of critics.
The pizza was topped with a four cheese blend and homemade sauce and the crust was very light. I don’t eat just any pizza because it sometimes doesn’t agree with me, so it has to be good enough to take that risk. And it definitely was.
They make the dough fresh daily and toss it in the air to give it an airy texture. It’s baked on oven stones, not conveyor belts. Dave Thomas of Bridgeville has been cooking with Basil for six years.
“Pizza making is an art," he said while pounding, stretching, twirling and tossing the pizza crust in the air. "You have to treat it like a lady or it won’t treat you right."
Their Sicilian pizza crust is made to order and takes a full 21 minutes for the crust alone.
“It’s worth the wait,” said Shawn R. of South Fayette. “They have the best pizza and sauce.”
Our second time at the restaurant, my daughters and husband stuck with pizza and wings, but I decided to try an authentic dish. It was a tough decision because the menu offered so many things that looked good including spanikopita, calzones, seafood, and salads, but I settled on the Mediterranean chicken and pasta.
Since the chef had introduced himself to us when we sat down, I knew it was the kind of place where custom orders wouldn’t be a problem. So I asked for my dish without garlic and didn’t even feel the need to lie and say I was allergic. They may have laughed at me in the kitchen, but it was fabulous. The sun-dried tomatoes, calamata olives, roasted red peppers and marinated chicken gave it plenty of flavor. The portion was so huge, I took about 75% of it home—and kept on eating it for the next few days.
On our next visit, we ordered the daily appetizer special of roasted stuffed red peppers baked with Basil’s 3 hour-marinara and several cheeses melted on top. The sausage is even hand ground on premises. Another winner and one to definitely request if it’s not on the daily special menu.
Their fish sandwich is a hand-breaded sweet fish filet, not a frozen cod patty dropped in the fryer. The gyros are cut off the spit paired with their secret family sauce. Marsala, piccata, and carbonara sauces are made fresh right before your order. Getting the picture now? It’s the real thing.
New York Pizza and Pasta is open from 3 to 10 p.m. weekdays and until 11 p.m. on weekends. They deliver to a large surrounding area including Bridgeville, South Fayette, Upper St. Clair, Collier, Nevillewood, Cuddy, Morgan, Heidelberg and parts of Carnegie. Prices are reasonable and they have combo specials such as Free Pizza Mondays, Big Game Deals, and more.
It’s a friendly atmosphere where you can bring your own wine or beer if you choose. While they don’t have a wait staff, they still provide excellent service with the owner heading out to your table to check on things. I learned about pizza tossing and we struck up a conversation with the table next to us sharing the bottle opener. It just feels like home. The real thing without the cooking and clean-up part.