Astoria, Queens: Via Trenta Osteria & Wine Bar
Via Trenta, on 30th Avenue in Astoria, is yet another wood-fired-oven pizzeria in the neighborhood. Like Basil Brick Oven a little farther north, Via Trenta is Neapolitan in style—small pizzas, minimally topped, attention to ingredients, etc.
Via Trenta takes over the space once occupied by Trattoria el Greco. It's been open since late fall of 2011, using the same Wood Stone oven that was there before but is burning wood in it instead of the gas Trattoria el Greco was using.
The pizza is better than that of its predecessor. The sauce is bright and fresh tasting, and the house-made mozzarella is creamy, pulling away from the slices as you bite, thin strings—elastic, edible.
The crust is crisp, and a bit dry. Tight hole structure and a minimal amount of rise at the rim. Fans of airy, supple cornicione may be disappointed. It reminded me of Nick's Pizza in Forest Hills or Forno Italia up on Ditmars (also in Astoria). Good for the neighborhood but maybe not world-beating pies. At least not yet.
The atmosphere is comfortable (much brighter than the previous incarnation, which required night-vision goggles), and the staff is friendly. I could see this becoming a go-to for me not because the pizza is AMAZING but because it is good enough and nearby.