While pizza in New York City might not be new, Tino’s Artisan Pizza Co. aims to do things differently. At Tino’s Artisan Pizza Co., owners Tino Procaccini and Andréa Di Meglio concentrate on utilizing organic ingredients to create their signature 12-inch thin-crust pizzas. With a balance of Neapolitan, Roman, and Italian American flavors, these pies are not to be missed.
The restaurant focuses on quality and sustainability with environmentally friendly updates, paper products and no artificial additives. We talked with owner Tino Procaccini and General Manager Sam Starobinsky about the new pizza spot in NYC that’s serving up a side of green standards.
A Slice of Tino’s Artisan Pizza Co.
“Tino’s Artisan Pizza Co. gets its individuality from our commitment to using clean, all-natural, locally sourced, and high-quality ingredients,” Procaccini and Starobinsky told us. “Some restaurants compromise on quality in order to maximize profits, but we believe there’s a way to offer blue-ribbon, fresh products and still operate as a profitable business. In addition to our clean ingredient deck, our menu boasts a variety of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. 2 gluten-free pizza crusts, Vegan mozzarella for pizza, and gluten-free homemade meatballs are just a few of the things we offer to accommodate different food lifestyles and diets.”
The first incarnation of Tino’s Artisan Pizza Co. initially existed in Kingston, New Jersey—not in the Big Apple. “The current menu reflects some of the classic favorites from our original inception as well as some things that we picked up along the way. We go through menu revisions about twice a year, so menu seasonality does play a small part,” Procaccini and Starobinsky explained. “We also feel it’s important to consider our customers’ opinions on certain items. At the end of the day, we value their opinion when it comes to the menu, considering they are the ones we rely on.”
If you’re in the mood for pizza, you’re definitely in for a treat. “Our pizzas are definitely what we’re known for,” Procaccini and Starobinsky said of the menu. “The Cacio e Pepe is a crowd favorite, and while it’s a pasta dish that’s been done in many Italian eateries, we’re yet to see it on a pizza menu. We start with fresh mozzarella, shaved Parmigiano and a crema comprised mainly of Pecorino Romano, which is made from 100% whole pasteurized sheep’s milk. It’s then finished with extra virgin olive oil and freshly cracked black pepper. Our homemade meatballs are also unique in the sense that we don’t put any breadcrumbs, and we use antibiotic-free ground pork, grass-fed beef and veal. They’re braised in our tomato sauce and then topped with Parmigiano and basil.”
While a brick facade is a classic element of old-school pizza joints, the walls you’ll find here were kismet. “We took over the space from a previous restaurant and completely re-did everything from the ground up,” Procaccini and Starobinsky explained. “As we were stripping down the walls, we found that there was brick from the original building, which has been standing almost 100 years now. We decided to show off the original brick as well as accent some of the interiors with barn wood, giving a rustic yet modern look to the place. We have one dining room that seats just over 50 guests, as well as a takeout area where customers can take food to go. Both are open all day, seven days a week, lunch and dinner.”
Procaccini and Starobinsky have a fantastic menu, but they definitely have their favorites. “Some of our menu favorites would be the Raffaela pizza, a pizza made with fresh mozzarella, roasted garlic, house-made Calabrian chili paste and shaved Parmigiano. The Ruchetta; fresh mozzarella, local antibiotic-free prosciutto finished with baby arugula, shaved Parmigiano and balsamic reduction,” they told us. “You also can’t go wrong with the classic Margherita, a simple yet great pizza to start with in order to truly taste the quality of ingredients we use. (Tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, basil). Aside from pizza, the Balsimco sandwich is a great lunchtime option. Grilled antibiotic-free chicken breast, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, naturally sun-dried tomatoes and house-made balsamic vinaigrette.”
*Interview edited for clarity.