We at Rizzo's are in no short supply of strongly held opinions on pizza and all related subjects. However, in a field replete with fly by night endeavors, we attribute our continued success to a few simple truths. First and foremost, food quality is of paramount importance. too many establishments compromise on this, the most essential pillar of success, hoping to make good food with mediocre ingredients and inevitably falling short of their goal.
We also pride ourselves on maintaining a level of customer satisfaction that is sadly uncommon in the restaurant industry in general, and the pizza business in particular. Too many patrons rightfully expect exemplary service when dining at a fine restaurant, yet don't feel justified in demanding likewise from their local pizzeria. We simply feel that the same standard should apply no matter where the meal is being offered. We make it a point to engage our customers, treat them in a friendly yet respectful manner, and convey our gratitude for their patronage.
Perhaps least considered and most hotly debated, is the idea that pizza should be, above all else, uncomplicated. That is not to say that it should be plain or boring, but rather that it should "make sense".
To paraphrase beloved chef and critic Marcela Hazan, "we are not interested in food that does not have a clear ethnic identity." Thus, we have resisted the incessant yet puzzling requests for Hawaiian pizza. Instead, our specialty pies (with the exception of the anomalous "Americana"), while creative and interesting, are all quite traditional. Additionally, our toppings are virtually all Mediterranean in origin.
Which brings us to another firm belief; when toppings are concerned, subtlety is a prime attribute in a good slice of pizza. Too often pizzerias inundate their pies with exotic or incongruous add ons. It has always been our opinion that if the sauce is good enough, the pizza will taste great with nothing on it at all and even better with the right mount of extras.
It was Joe Rizzo's unwavering commitment to these and countless other considerations that initially gained Astoria's attention. It is our continued adherence to them that has done the same with our neighborhood's ever changing demographic. As founding father Benjamin Franklin is noted to have said "it is better to fail at originality than to succeed at imitation." thanks to our principals and the discerning tastes of our customers, we have managed to enjoy the best of both worlds.