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Author Topic: Back in the New York Groove  (Read 39809 times)

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Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Back in the New York Groove
« on: October 27, 2020, 09:09:32 PM »
For the past 8 years I’ve worked towards opening my own place.  I made a name for myself by opening Lombardi’s in the early 90s.  I’ve worked in a lot of places all over the globe.  Spent a lot of time in Asia. Was the Exec Chef at Rubirosa for a bit.  Made about 20,000 pies for Joe’s Pizza in Shanghai, NY and most recently Ann Arbor, MI.
 
I started out 2020 believing I was going to open an Italian restaurant in Ann Arbor.  Even found the location.  Because of a crazy, life-altering event at the Sundance Film Festival in January, I decided to give NYC one more try.  Was negotiating buying out a place in Bushwick, Brooklyn in March.  That got put on hold as the pandemic hit NYC. Not wanting to sit around,  I signed on to open a spot for some NY guys in Tokyo, but they couldn’t get me a visa. 

So I pounded the streets of NY, looking for a deal.  And I found one.

I’m opening Bellucci Pizza in Astoria, Queens, NYC.  Should be open before Thanksgiving.  Slices from a 20” NY-style pie, 18” round for delivery, a 12” “Metropolitan-style” pie, that’s room-temp fermented overnight, and my square, taking equal influences from New York, Detroit and France.

For me, and my fellow New Yorkers, the slice is the fundamental means of transaction and measure for pizza.  Pizza should be approachable and accessible.  If someone is short on time and money, just throw three crumpled dollars at me and you’ll get fed.  That’s my philosophy anyway.

To paraphrase Anthony Mangieri: “New York City, for restaurants, is really the place to build a name and to prove that you have validity, which is a shame that it’s like that, but that is the truth.”

NYC has always been the center of my universe.  I’ve tried to run away, but always felt that I was settling.

I’m settling no more.  I’m all-in on this place and NYC in general.  I’ve invested every dollar I have – and even every dollar I don’t have.  I’ve always been an all-or-nothing type of guy.

At the end of the day, it’s pizza in New York.  People gotta eat.  And I like to think in a town like this, if I offer people the best of me, I should do just fine.  Let the chips fall where they may…


Using a Pizzamaster 933




And a Steno Diving Arms Kneader




I'm blind testing 20+ different tomatoes and and working directly with the owners of Lioni Latticini for all (most) of my cheese. I've worked with so many high quality flours that my head is spinning - in a good way.  That's the great thing about New York City:  I have access to the best of the best and prices are cheaper than say...Ann Arbor.  :D

I don't shill for anyone.  I'll commit hari kari before I sew ANYONE's brand patch on my kitchen shirt. [Where's the "vomit" emoji?]  That said, I will always sing the praises of my suppliers.  Why wouldn't I?  I only work with the best and they help me achieve my goals. 

I've always been "open source".  I'm happy to give people the names of my suppliers, my recipes and my work flow.  I do this for two reasons: 

#1  There are no "secrets" to being successful in the pizza business.  All it takes is total dedication and focus:  two qualities that most people are not willing to put in day after day after day...

#2.  I can give you my ingredients, my recipes and my work flow.  And you cannot match what I do because our experiences are very different.  That's why I share everything.  I have no competition other than myself.

Waiting on ConEd to inspect the electrical upgrade and install our meter.  Then it's off to the races...




Bellucci's Pizzeria
37-08 30th Avenue
Astoria, New York

IG: @The_Bellucci

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Re: Back in the New York Groove
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2020, 09:36:30 PM »
This is great! All the best to you!

Offline HansB

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Re: Back in the New York Groove
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2020, 09:37:24 PM »
Congrats Andrew! I bet you'll do well and I look forward to trying it out soon.

All the best!
Instagram @hans_michigan.

"The most important element of pizza is the dough. Pizza is bread after all. Bread with toppings." -Brian Spangler

"Ultimately, pizza is a variety of condiments on top of bread. If I wanted to evolve, I figured out that I had to understand bread and first make the best bread I possibly could. Only then could my pizza evolve as well." Dan Richer

Offline norma427

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Re: Back in the New York Groove
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2020, 09:59:47 PM »
Congrats Andrew!

Norma

Offline jsaras

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Re: Back in the New York Groove
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2020, 10:01:15 PM »
Best of luck to you! 
Things have never been more like today than they are right now.

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Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: Back in the New York Groove
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2020, 10:14:26 PM »
This is great! All the best to you!

Thanks man - I appreciate it!!!
Best of luck to you! 

Thanks man!!
Congrats Andrew!

Norma
Thanks Norma!  That means a lot coming from you.  You are an inspiration for me!!

Thanks
Congrats Andrew! I bet you'll do well and I look forward to trying it out soon.

All the best!

Thanks Hans!!!  I'm actually stealing an idea I got from you for my Clam pie.  I'm only offering it in limited quantities in a 12 x 4 pan that I only know because you posted it here.

I've had so many great interactions with people here on pizzamaking.com but you and Lou are the two I hold in the highest regard.  I'm just buttering you up, because I hope I can get you involved in some of my R&D!!!
Bellucci's Pizzeria
37-08 30th Avenue
Astoria, New York

IG: @The_Bellucci

Offline Rolls

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Re: Back in the New York Groove
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2020, 10:29:13 PM »
Good luck to you Andrew.  You seem to be well-versed in ALL the facets of running a pizza business, beyond just knowing how to make a good pizza.  IMO, you also have an ideal surname to use as a business name.  Wishing you much success.


Rolls
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Offline Yael

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Re: Back in the New York Groove
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2020, 10:32:24 PM »
Congratulations! It looks very exciting!!
I believe we are in a same Wechat group, I didn't know all this "résumé" of yours.
Good luck, and if you need anything related to "French style" that I can help with you let me know  :P
“Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist” - Pablo Picasso

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: Back in the New York Groove
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2020, 10:39:09 PM »
Congratulations! It looks very exciting!!
I believe we are in a same Wechat group, I didn't know all this "résumé" of yours.
Good luck, and if you need anything related to "French style" that I can help with you let me know  :P

Thanks Yael!!!

Yeah, we're in the same WeChat group.  Adrian Wall of Joe's Shanghai turned me onto it when I was in Shanghai in 2018.  And my mother is from Alsace, hence my French influence...

I appreciate it and will definitely reach out for anything French!!!
Bellucci's Pizzeria
37-08 30th Avenue
Astoria, New York

IG: @The_Bellucci

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: Back in the New York Groove
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2020, 10:53:04 PM »
Good luck to you Andrew.  You seem to be well-versed in ALL the facets of running a pizza business, beyond just knowing how to make a good pizza.  IMO, you also have an ideal surname to use as a business name.  Wishing you much success.


Rolls

Thanks for noting the surname!   Obviously, I got lucky winning the Culinary Ethnic Lottery!!!, But its's also part of pizza history.

Gennaro Lombardi learned how to be a baker at the Bellucci Bakery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Gennaro married Filomena Bellucci in 1910 and opened a well-regarded pizzeria on Spring Street in 1912 - funded by his father-in-law Pasquale.

The Bellucci family has been in the bakery and pizza business since the 1700s.

I'm proud to be continuing the family tradition...

Bellucci's Pizzeria
37-08 30th Avenue
Astoria, New York

IG: @The_Bellucci

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Offline waltertore

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Re: Back in the New York Groove
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2020, 11:07:28 PM »
Much success! 
PURCHASE OUR HANDMADE 22 GAUGE COLD ROLLED STEEL SICILIAN/GRANDMA PANS
https://www.swhenterprises.com/

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: Back in the New York Groove
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2020, 11:13:12 PM »
Bellucci's Pizzeria
37-08 30th Avenue
Astoria, New York

IG: @The_Bellucci

Offline woodfiredandrew

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Re: Back in the New York Groove
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2020, 11:29:13 PM »
All the best Andrew.... 
People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered, love them anyway. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives, do good anyway. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable, Be honest and frank anyway. If you are successful , you will win false friends and true enemies, succeed anyway.

Offline Jackitup

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Re: Back in the New York Groove
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2020, 11:50:39 PM »
Break a leg brother, nothing but net, all the best!!!!!
Jon

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Offline deb415611

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Re: Back in the New York Groove
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2020, 07:06:50 AM »
Congrats and best of luck to you!
Deb

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Offline scott r

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Re: Back in the New York Groove
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2020, 08:08:45 AM »
Andrew, this is going to be a smashing success, I know it!   Not many (any?) NY style pizzerias with a diving arms mixer!!!  Obviously your years of experience are what are really going to knock this one out of the park.  I cant wait to try YOUR pizza.   With all of the places you have worked its so great to see you being able to do your own thing.   The NY pizza scene just keeps getting better and better.

Offline Jon in Albany

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Re: Back in the New York Groove
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2020, 09:25:03 AM »
Good luck getting open. I know once the doors open, you will be BUSY!

Can't wait to get there and try your pizza.

Offline Andrew Bellucci

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Re: Back in the New York Groove
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2020, 10:10:27 AM »
Good luck getting open. I know once the doors open, you will be BUSY!

Can't wait to get there and try your pizza.

Thanks Jon,  I plan on taking it slow in the biggining until I'm in the flow. No grand opening, no press, just nice and easy...



Andrew, this is going to be a smashing success, I know it!   Not many (any?) NY style pizzerias with a diving arms mixer!!!  Obviously your years of experience are what are really going to knock this one out of the park.  I cant wait to try YOUR pizza.   With all of the places you have worked its so great to see you being able to do your own thing.   The NY pizza scene just keeps getting better and better.

Thanks Scott - that means a lot to me coming from a serious operator like you. There's a couple of Neapolitan places that use a diving arm mixer like Saranghina in Brooklyn, but no NY style places that I know of. I don't even like to call it a mixer, because it isn't. From the French, it translates to kneader, which is exactly why I chose it. Almost no friction and it keeps oxygenation minimal.

But you already know that...  8)

All the best Andrew....

Thanks WFA!!!
Bellucci's Pizzeria
37-08 30th Avenue
Astoria, New York

IG: @The_Bellucci

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Back in the New York Groove
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2020, 10:27:38 AM »
Andrew,

I wish you all the best with your new enterprise. I have enjoyed your posts on the forum and hope that you will check in from time to time to let us know how you are doing.

Peter

Offline woodfiredandrew

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Re: Back in the New York Groove
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2020, 10:59:25 AM »
For the guys who understand lot more than me about this science,
Can you quantify the difference between Kneader and conventional mixer in terms of final product (Test, light airiness,price etc.) come out of oven?
Andrew , i would like to hear your rational for taking this route for dough prep.
I am very curious to see how you are planning to use PM (Temp, Time). To me that is the best oven if one is looking for woodfire substitute for look of the pizza and many more variation. 
Thanks
People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered, love them anyway. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives, do good anyway. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable, Be honest and frank anyway. If you are successful , you will win false friends and true enemies, succeed anyway.

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