Don’t be misled by its name; DiMaria’s Brick Oven Pizza and Kitchen in Little Neck specializes in a lot more than the popular Italian pie.
Located at 248-25 Northern Blvd., the eatery does offer a wide variety of pizzas — including whole wheat, stuffed and gluten free, loaded with every conceivable topping, including Buffalo chicken and hot cherry peppers.
Congenial owner Joe DiMaria, who opened the restaurant in 2009, said one of the most popular selections is the grandma pizza. It’s a square pie, reminiscent of Sicilian, but with a much thinner crust. DiMaria’s version offers the freshest mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and basil. It melts in your mouth.
At this time of year, one can dine in the eatery or at its outdoor cafe. The service is good at either location.
For appetizers, we tried the fried calamari and the hot antipasto. The calamari was tender and delicious and was accompanied by a marinara sauce, a hot sauce and tartar sauce.
The hot appetizer did not fail to please, either. It contained fried shrimp, baked clams, eggplant rollatini, stuffed mushrooms and zucchini sticks. The rollatini was a meal in itself.
Next time, we’ll try to save room for one of the 14 salad choices, including Italian white bean or roasted beef.
For our pasta selection, we picked the gnocchi pesto. The little potato pasta was tossed with the eatery’s fresh pesto made with basil, parmesan and cream. Very satisfying.
It was difficult to select an entree since the choices are endless, including chicken, veal and seafood dishes plus healthy choices such as roast chicken and heroes and burgers.
We tried the chicken scarpariello and the shrimp parmigiana. We could find no fault with the shrimp dish, but were particularly taken by the chicken.
It consisted of strips of chicken — no bones here — with sausage, garlic and potatoes in a white wine and rosemary sauce with a hint of lemon. The flavors were outstanding.
Even DiMaria’s dessert selections were more than the standard cheesecake. Among the choices are Ripieno Orange or Lemon, which are fruit ices in a frozen orange or lemon cup, tiramisu and Coppa Spagnola.
We opted for the tiramisu, which was particularly flavorful and yummy, and the Coppa Spagnola that turned out to be a delicious parfait of cherry vanilla ice cream with amarena cherries.
The restaurant is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.on Sunday.
The restaurant offers student and senior specials, pasta night every Wednesday and daily lunch combo specials. For take-out or delivery orders, call (718) 352-9300.The website is dimarias.com.