DINING REVIEW: Michael’s Ristorante & Pizzeria

EVERYBODY KNOWS New York has hands down the best pizza you can get, with the exception of Italy (that’s still debatable). Long Island pizza is every bit as superb as New York City, sometimes even better depending upon the establishment. Michael’s Ristorante & Pizzeria is one shining example.Proprietor Michael Miller first opened his doors in the summer of 1993, and the rest is history. Located on the eastern end of the Ocean Beach business district, it still has the feeling of a quaint pizza shop from simpler times.You can walk in and grab a slice or have a pie delivered to your beachfront bungalow – you can’t go wrong either way. Topping options range from buffalo chicken to shrimp scampi, white clam or just the basic cheese. It’s Michael’s signature sesame seed-sprinkled crust that takes his pizza to the next level.You can also sit down at Michael’s for some fine dining. You will find an elaborate menu that includes much more than pizza. For example, Michael’s Special Salad has everything from fresh mozzarella, Greek olives, sliced cucumbers and spring greens to roasted walnuts drizzled with a light balsamic dressing. While waiting for your entrée, sip on the fruity house- made sangria.My sister and I enjoyed the panko  crusted crab cake appetizer. Who knew crab cakes would taste so good with vodka sauce? It’s an amazing combination where Italian meets the sea. The Zuppa di Pesce was filled with every shellfish you can think of. On the lighter side,we just loved the pistachio-crusted salmon, combined with grilled asparagus and mushroom risotto.
The Michael’s menu is also sensitive to possible food allergies and dietary preferences, with plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options.One can always finish off with something a little sweater. Michaels home made Nutella cheesecake truly satisfies. Who knew a pizzeria would have such great desert options, made with love, right in their kitchen?This is a true family establishment with warm service that makes everyone feel at home and welcome. “We may not have the waterfront view,” Mike says, “but we have great food that will keep you coming back.”My sister and I certainly plan to.