Dining Review: Pines Pizza

By Shoshanna McCollum36 Fire Island Blvd.631-440-0073Pines Pizza is open early April through mid-September.Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.Catering services are available for all occasions, simple to elegant.Visit PinesFI.com/PinesPizza to learn more.News reporters are people on the go, and we eat a lot of pizza. On Long Island there is a venerable ocean of pizzerias. Even on Fire Island we have quite a respectable number, and no two are alike. However one alone stands out. Pines Pizza is where this reporter goes when she is on assignment in Fire Island Pines, and if she has learned anything at all, it is that this place is about much more than pizza.This is the place where she had bacon and egg on a roll right before covering a contentious meeting one early spring day over at Whyte Hall. This is the place where she found a moment to grab a slice on the Fourth of July when she covered the Invasion for the first time. Most memorably, this is the place she wandered into last summer after almost fainting at a crowded public event when she was not quite over an illness, and the heat of the day overcame her. “Stay here and rest,” said the young man behind the counter. “I will feed you.”Sitting on the deck at the corner of Fire Island Boulevard, this location always seems to catch cool breezes, even on the hottest of days. The parlor interior is neat and clean, even on the most bustling of weekend holidays. And they have some of the biggest slices this writer has ever seen, with a near perfect crust to sauce and cheese ratio, which is just the right amount of oiliness for flavor – without crossing over the taboo line of too greasy. Pies are made in many varieties. Try the Grandma slice; you will be glad you did.P.J. McAteer has been operating Pines Pizza for the past 14 years, along with his other business interests in the Fire Island Pines community. So what is the secret to its success?“It’s the homemade dough, the handspun pizza, and the quality of its ingredients,” says P.J., glowing with pride.This care and respect for food is evident in many other staple items they prepare. Back to that bacon and egg sandwich on a Kaiser roll – not too bready as the typical corner deli version of this New York breakfast classic is so often prone to be – instead it has a generous helping of bacon, and its egg prepared with just the right amount of runniness. This will spoil you for when average egg sandwiches are served elsewhere.If meats and cheeses are not your thing, Pines pizza also offers a full selection of beautiful vegetable and fruit salads that are a light and healthful pick-me-up, as well as grab-n-go sandwiches and wraps that are packaged and ready to take with you any time of day. And, of course, they offer fresh coffee all day long, served hot or iced, like any respectable New York eatery should.Local or visitor, this establishment makes you feel welcome. This is true New York American food at its very best. You will think of the place fondly long after this summer has past.