The original Umberto’s in New Hyde Park has been a Zagat pizzeria and diner for years. Owner Umberto Corteo came to America as a teenager. He opened the famous restaurant in 1965 with his brother Joe. Umberto’s has been a staple in the community for over 40 years.
The traditional Umberto decor is astonishing. Multi-level establishments have developed over the years, developing according to the needs of society. Umberto told me that when he first opened he only had a storefront. The banquet hall upstairs was his bedroom. The popularity of food leaves Umberto with no choice but to expand and serve his customers with love.
Owner: Umberto Corteo
Despite its many claims to fame, Umberto’s is the home of the original Grandma’s Pizza slice. In fact, the story of the discovery of this extraordinary delicacy hangs on the wall downstairs in the restaurant. I have two pieces and will be back.
I’m honored to have lunch with Umberto. Former Jet player Erik Coleman stopped by and ate with us, which made lunch even better. Appetizers start with flavorful dry meats, warm fresh bread and heavenly cheeses, all made in-house. Frutti Di Mare, which has to be the BEST I’ve ever had because you can taste the freshness of the squid and prawns. Simply delicious! The dish was preceded by a Capricciosa salad. I started to feel full but I kept eating knowing Italian traditions and good conversation related to food.
Being the middle brother of thirteen kids, Umberto shares many stories of affection and family celebrations. His journey for The American Dream brought genuine culture and way of life to Long Island. This uniqueness and class shows through on the menu, and on the last course I devoured… the homemade sausage and broccoli rabe. Yes, I said it, homemade. The spicy taste and texture of the sausage is incredible. The meat is succulent, savory and perfectly cooked. My mouth is still watering. The freshness is unlike any other sausage you will find in the area. Speaking of fresh – if I can take it back to 1987 – even boxer greats Bernard Hopkins, Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, Voctor Cruz, actor Robert Davi and Fox News commentator Richard Salgado have enjoyed Umberto’s pizza over the years. Now that’s Fresh! .
Umberto is located at 633 Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park. They take reservations although walk ins are welcome, Family friendly restaurant has a terrific menu appropriate for teenagers too. They perfected the take out menu and delivered when needed. Waiting service catering is available upon request!
Getting hungry? Check the menu and call them at (516) 437-7698.