In an area where there is stiff competition in the pizza business, Brian Peroni needed to stand out from the crowd.
Last October, Peroni opened Arthur Avenue Wood Fired Pizza & Catering on Marble Avenue in Pleasantville. It’s not just the shop’s Pavesi oven that he imported from Italy to cook his pizzas, but it may be one of the few independently-owned pizzerias where you can’t get an individual slice, just personal pies that feeds one if you’re really hungry, or it can be shared by two people.
“It cooks it at a higher temperature, about 800 degrees,” Peroni explained about the oven. “It just infuses the pizza with that wood flavor. It has that nice char on it. It’s crispy, it’s crunchy. It has all the elements.”
Peroni makes all of his 10- to 12-inch personal-size thin crust pizzas from scratch using San Marzano tomatoes for the sauce, cheese that is made to withstand the oven’s high temperature and dough that comes straight from Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. In fact, many of the ingredients are brought in from perhaps New York’s best-known predominantly Italian neighborhood.
The oven’s high temperature – about 250 degrees hotter than a conventional pizza oven – cooks the pies within four minutes, Perino said.
A pizza lover can choose from the varieties one can find in almost any pizzeria. First, there’s the cheese pizza that uses fresh mozzarella and pecorino Romano cheese. Then there are toppings, including pepperoni, meatballs, sausage or eggplant. There’s also a salad pizza, which uses tomato, arugula, onions and olives, and the white pizza, which adds ricotta to the mozzarella and Romano cheeses.
Peroni said two of his most popular are the Margherita pizza and the buffalo chicken pizza. Patrons are free to mix and match their toppings if they’re having trouble deciding or want to combine a few different flavors.
Peroni concedes that some visitors used to the typical New York pizzeria are perplexed that they can’t get a slice. But he said that the pies are light, preventing the diner from feeling heavy and bloated afterward.
“I tell them try it, you’ll like it,” he said. “A lot of the people who try it, like it. Once they eat it, they’re hooked.”
If you aren’t in the mood for pizza, Arthur Avenue Wood Fired Pizza also has many of the pizzeria staples, including chicken, meatball and eggplant parmesan sandwiches. There are also five types of specialty sandwiches, a house and Caesar salad, chicken wings, rice balls, ravioli and Italian wontons.
Peroni said he doesn’t try to be too fancy, instead opting to try to perfect what he does best.
“It’s simple. We’re very simple, but what we do we try to do well and try to keep it simple,” Peroni said.
The shop recently obtained its beer and wine license so it serves three types of reds and three whites and several beers, including a non-alcoholic variety. Then there are a variety of soft drinks.
For dessert, you can try a cannoli, tiramisu or the house-made chipwich, containing chocolate chip ice cream. You can also relax with a cappuccino or an espresso or enjoy Langford ice cream.
Like so many New Yorkers, Peroni, a Bronx native who now lives in White Plains, has always loved pizza. He was shown the storefront in the Marble Avenue Plaza and he decided to give it a try.
Peroni worked for 25 years for a Mamaroneck beach club, where he did all the purchasing for its . He has also owned restaurants.
“We’re a little bit different,” he said. “It’s getting our name out and letting people know that we’re here. We’re tucked away so it’s not like we have high visibility.”
Arthur Avenue Wood Fired Pizza & Catering is located at 210 Marble Ave. It is currently open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., although Peroni is likely to stay open later on Fridays and Saturdays and add Sunday hours in the fall. There is free delivery with a $20 minimum order. For more information, call 914-741-2828 or look it up on GrubHub, Slice and Seamless.