At last – it’s been over a year since we’ve seen Nick Laudano with a pizzeria (Lake Worth’s Nick’s A-Pizza). Fans of the New Haven, Conn.-style pies – often sparking battles with New York as the country’s best – will be happy to know he’s opened Nick’s New Haven-Style Pizzeria and Bar in Glades Plaza just east of the Town Center Mall.
He’s partnered with Anthony Giovanniello to create a full-fledged restaurant where sit-down diners, or families or parties can plan a night’s event here – or casual diners can grab and go.
“Nick and I have been friends for 15 years or longer,” Giovanniello said. “I came down to see his place in Lake Worth when he opened up and I’m a big fan of Nick’s product. I didn’t see too many places in the west side of Boca doing good pizza except Anthony’s. It seemed like a good product that would appeal to the New Yorkers who live here. A lot of New Yorkers go to New Haven and favor that style of pie.”
A chef, pastas, special gelato here
For this venue, they hired a chef and added pasta and sandwiches. “We make our bread for our sandwiches in our oven, so it’s all done here. Except dessert -for the gelato, we get it from a New Haven woman who makes her own gelato,” he said.
The cornerstone pie is a white clam apizza (say it like a New Havener: ah-BEETS) – no sauce, thin crusted, and with well done cheese around the edges from the fiery brick ovens. The spinach and tomato pies also are best-sellers. A number of specialty pies as well as traditionals are on the menu, along with calzones, a few pasta dishes, pannini, and salads.
The new place gets a designer’s touch from Karen Hanlon (her other restaurants are Racks DET and Table 42), who put a retro-pizzeria feel to the 4,600-square-feet space. The ceiling sports advertising from speakeasy days to the 1960’s. Laudano had a hand in building the brick ovens.
“Basically, we’re trying to capture a vintage theme, a throwback from the ’40s and ’50s. We’ve got old-fashioned sodas from that era – so you can go out for a soda and clam pie,” Giovanniello said. He’s behind the music, and “vibe,” as he calls it, leaving the menu to Laudano. “I’m a New York guy. He’s an old school guy; he’s got the pizza part of it down. I’m here to make this a pizza joint with a vibe.”
Plethora of pizzas
The explosion of pizzerias in the area isn’t lost on him, but few are true New Haven style or even Northeastern style. And, pizza is once again becoming a value meal, he said.
“Pizza is so played out. But since the economy has taken a tilt, people are turning back to inexpensive meals. The resurgence is doing well. You can still take your family out for sodas and a pie for around $50 for three or four people.”
It’s not an elaborate menu, he said, but “We want it done well. I’m confident once the people come in and try it, it’s that good. They’ll be returning.”
Along with a lounge area, bar and outdoor dining space, Nick’s has a take-out, walk-up window. Prices are moderate; expect to drop from $11.50 to $25 on pizzas; other entrees are in between.
Nick’s New Haven Style Pizzeria and Bar
- 2240 NW 19th St., Boca Raton (in Glades Plaza)
- 561-368-2900; nickspizzeriabar.com
- Open Sunday to Wednesday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Thursday to Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.