Business Spotlights

Business Profile: Italia Brick Oven Pizzeria & Restaurant, Thornwood

We are part of The Trust Project
Michael Pecora, owner of Italia Brick Oven Pizzeria & Restaurant in Thornwood.
Michael Pecora, owner of Italia Brick Oven Pizzeria & Restaurant in Thornwood.

Bronx natives living in and around Thornwood are rediscovering the good old-fashioned pizza they once enjoyed courtesy of the Italia Brick Oven Pizzeria & Restaurant, a relative newcomer to the Town Center shopping mall on Broadway.

Owned by Michael Pecora, the restaurant officially opened last year and is gaining a solid reputation for its thin, crispy pizza, which comes out of a gas-fired brick oven. But there’s more to this charming restaurant than just pizza.

Staying true to the fine Italian cooking tradition he grew up in, Pecora serves up a host of delicious dishes. Appetizers include fried calamari, homemade zucchini sticks, buffalo wings and mozzarella caprese, a combination of sliced fresh mozzarella cheese, tomato and roasted peppers with basil and olive oil. Pasta specialties include tortellini alfredo, ravioli pomodor, farfalle and broccoli rabe, as well as potato gnocchi. Entrees include the traditional chicken parmigiana, eggplant rollatini and shrimp francese, to name a few.

Wraps and wedges are frequently requested items at lunchtime, and in addition to the many repeat customers that Pecora sees on a daily basis, the restaurant’s catering service is also quite popular, serving a growing corporate clientele.

Pecora has been working in and around restaurants for years. His grandfather, an Italian immigrant, established a bakery in the Bronx called Addeo, which his cousin now runs. Pecora’s uncle, Jimmy, who now works for Pecora, also has a long history of working in the restaurant business.

After graduating from college, Pecora worked in the corporate world, but eventually realized it wasn’t for him.

“I knew then that to be satisfied in a job you really have to like what you’re doing,” said Pecora, who spent years in sales.

So Pecora went back to what he knew best. He purchased a pizzeria in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, where he remained for 10 years. His move to Thornwood was based on the desire for a shorter commute to and from his Mount Kisco home, where he lives with his wife, Laurie, and their two children.

In addition to being a full-service, sit-down restaurant, Pecora takes great pride in his pizzas, of which there are about 20 different varieties.

“What I’ve found from working in this business is that people take their pizza very seriously,” said Pecora. With that in mind, Pecora makes every effort to “get it right” each time.

Some of the pies at Italia Brick Oven Pizzeria include the “Grandma,” a thin crust Sicilian pizza with marinara sauce and fresh basil; the “Grandpa,” which is similar but with fresh mozzarella and basil; the chicken Caesar pizza; and the spicy chicken pizza, along with many others.

A constant presence in the restaurant, Pecora has built relationships with many of his customers, ensuring a steady stream of repeat business. Most of all, he loves to make pizza. “If I could make it every day, I’d be very happy,” he said.

Pecora said he owes much of his success to his Uncle Jimmy, whose original recipes serve as the basis for many of the restaurant’s dishes.

“Everything I do I have learned from him,” he said.

Italia Brick Oven Pizzeria & Restaurant is located at 1010 Broadway in the Town Center at Thornwood. The restaurant is open Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. To find out more, visit, or to order call 914-741-9111.

We'd love for you to support our work by joining as a free, partial access subscriber, or by registering as a full access member. Members get full access to all of our content, and receive a variety of bonus perks like free show tickets. Learn more here.