Diego Belfiore and Lorenzo Renna found a recipe for success nearly 14 years ago and have cultivated it ever since. Opened in February 1998, La Capannina in Wainscott has become the casual dining place in the area, serving up pizza, pasta and other Italian specialties.
The restaurant has a full kitchen and is open 362 days a year—closing only on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. It boasts a brisk take-out business, in addition to offering 28 seats for indoor dining, tables outside in the warm weather, and catering.
Mr. Belfiore credited the Italian heritage that he and his co-owner share as the inspiration for the menu, which is said is “just like grandma and mom used to make.”
Last week, Dining Out visited the bustling pizzeria to speak with Mr. Belfiore about the most popular dish, the chef’s favorite and signature items.
Most Popular: Pizza; by the pie and by the slice; from $2.40 for a slice and up to $26 for a large specialty pizza.
Chef’s Favorite: Margherita Di Mare; entrée; $17.95.
Signature: Penne Alla Vodka; entrée; $12.95.
La Capannina is known primarily as a pizza place. Even though there are plenty of other popular options on the menu, it’s the 20 different varieties of pies and slices that bring in the bulk of the business, Mr. Belfiore said. Some of the more popular types of pizza are the deep-pan Sicilian, regular cheese, calamari and buffalo chicken, he said, adding that there are all types of pies on the menu.
“If you can name it, we make it,” he said. “Our pizza is to die for.”
His personal favorite dish is the Margherita De Mare, which is served piping hot in a bowl filled to the top with shrimp, calamari, clams, pasta, fresh tomatoes and basil. The reason: fresh seafood from local purveyors.
“It’s fresh, it’s simple and it’s delicious,” he said. “You get those ingredients and put them together in the right way and you have a winner.”
The entrée, like all pasta dishes on the menu, comes with a choice of penne, linguine, spaghetti or fusilli. It also comes with salad and bread.
The co-owner noted that everything served at La Capannina is made on premises, with the exception of the desserts.
The restaurant’s signature dish is the Penne Alla Vodka, he said. That dish usually comes with penne, though other pastas may be used instead, in a pink cream sauce with prosciutto.
“It’s a common dish but people enjoy it. And it’s a good value,” he said.
Mr. Belfiore noted that value, in price and in the food itself, is a very important component to the restaurant’s success.
“A pizzeria should be about value and quality. We give a good value. And we don’t shortchange quality for value,” he said. “If you’re looking for good food, friendly service and a great value, that’s what we’re all about.”
La Capannina is located on Montauk Highway in Wainscott and is open for lunch and dinner seven day a week; closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Eat in or take out. The restaurant also serves beer and wine. A sister location opened in Holtsville two years ago.