25 August 2008

House of Pizza & Calzone to Get Complete Makeove

One of the most beloved slice joints in all of Brooklyn—the House of Pizza and Calzone on Union Street between Hicks and Columbia—is currently undergoing a complete redo.

Pizza lovers from Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Red Hook who only last week sat at one of the terminally odd, boxy, gray-marble tables and munched a perfectly burnt, tangy and flavorful slice at the 56-year-old eatery, were today greeted by a building-enveloping blue tarp, a dumpster full of debris, sawhorses, plastic buckets, a plywood wall—are the earmarks of major construction.

The House was bought by new owners, Paul Diagostino and Gino Vitale, back in 2004. They have painstakingly tried to maintain the reputation of the signature plain pie and huges calzones, while adding a variety of new pies and various panini. Some believe the pizza hasn't changed and is just as good as always; others think there was a falling off. (I personally still find the slices satisfying, even if something ineffable was lost when those two old guys with the raspy voices, Onofrio Gaudioso and John Teutonico, stopped throwing the dough. Call it the flavor of experience.)

For a couple years, the new owners have been working on a backyard patio of sorts, which would provide extra seating. Now it looks like the main room will be redone as well. Neighbors say the interior with boast a completely new look. The owner, sitting outside, said he wished the design to be a surprise. He confirmed, however, that the House would have a new awning—sad news for those how loved the cheesy, grimy, old red-green-and-white one, with its hand-painted Italian chef holding a steaming pie. The guy wasn't lying; the old awning was strapped to the roof of a nearby van, ready to be carted off to the awning graveyard.

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