Want to own a business for half a century? Open a pizzeria across the street from a school. That’s what the Saccone family did sometime in the 1950s, and the squat white-and-blue shack has served New Rochelle and hungry Westchester residents ever since. The vintage parlor still goes by its original name, though for the past 23 years, the ovens at Saccone’s Pizzeria (56 6th Street, New Rochelle; 914-636-8282) have been under the care of Maria Miele, whose son Joseph bought the business from the original owners. And while much has changed in the two decades since the Mieles took over, the one constant that’s remained is its devoted local following.
Unless you’re looking for a fun 40-minute walk, the easiest way to reach Saccone’s, a standalone shack nestled into an unassuming residential corner of town, is to either cab it from the Metro-North train station or make your way there by car. Enter and you’ll be greeted with the aromas of savory marinara, which bubbles away in a large cauldron behind the saloon door that separates the kitchen from the front vestibule where Maria holds court. “We’ve got pasta e fagioli today,” she crows, while an employee kneads dough behind her.
Homemade soups and pastas draw older residents and families at dinner, while kids invade nearly every inch of the shop for after-school slices. My crew settled on a half-red/half-white, and while the pie could use a touch puffier crust, Saccone’s sauce is bright and bold enough to stand up to a bludgeoning of dried mozzarella. Maria insisted on putting broccoli on the sauce-less side of the pie, and the cruciferous vegetable added a blunter kind of earthiness than its bitter cousin broccoli rabe.
The pizza, like the place and the family that runs it, has an indelible charm. Miele’s Italian ices are also worth a look. A heaping paper cup of cherry ice melts smoothly, fruity without becoming overly saccharine. Tart lemon smacks of summer fun.
While you’re in the neighborhood, check out Glen Island Park, a public island park located on the Long Island Sound.