Slideshow: Two New Wood Ovens in Astoria: Milkflower and Tufino

The Queen ($10) at Milkflower
The Queen ($10) at Milkflower
Tomatoes balance tang and sweetness, and housemade fior di latte, generously spread all over the pie and exuding a little whey, struts its freshness well.
Spicy Soppressata ($16)
Spicy Soppressata ($16)
If the Queen lacks a certain depth, this pizza delivers. As Roberta's and Paulie Gee's have shown us before, it's a case for how thinly sliced, beautifully charred spicy sausage benefits from a drizzle of sweet honey.
Brussels Sprout ($15)
Brussels Sprout ($15)
Skip this pie with a useless egg in the center; the pizza calls out for some acidity or salty pork product to keep your interest up.
Underbelly
Underbelly
The pizza is built on a good, if not outstanding, foundation, though I wish it took in more smoke from the oven.
Toasts ($4 each)
Toasts ($4 each)
The menu also has a section of toasts, which are decidedly not bruschetta, well-toasted slices of wholesome-tasting bread piled high with everything from peas to corn to squash to avocado. One version, with buttery leeks and thinly sliced chorizo, felt heavy even before cured egg yolk was shaved over the top. But the pea, ricotta, and lavender with lemon zest is just beautiful: the peas candy-sweet with just a little bite, the ricotta's subtleties drawn out well by its aromatic toppings.
String Bean Salad ($9)
String Bean Salad ($9)
Vegetables from Brooklyn Grange so fresh they squeaked, dressed in a restrained sundried tomato vinaigrette. A salad well worth ordering.
Margherita ($11) at Tufino
Margherita ($11) at Tufino
A balanced, solid pie, though the crust deserves more flavor and smoke and the housemade fior di latte is rather bland.
Il Greco ($12)
Il Greco ($12)
An ode to the neighborhood's Greek history, this white pie smothered in fior di latte, Fontina, Kalamata olives, oregano, and lemon, negotiates a careful balance between fat and acidity.
Waltino ($14)
Waltino ($14)
Fried and grilled eggplant, olives, ricotta salata, and sundried tomatoes on a tomato and mozz pie is heavy and awkward to eat.
Underbelly
Underbelly
The pliant crust, more smooth than actually crisp anywhere, shows some spots of mild charring.
Fried Stuff ($14 for the sampler)
Fried Stuff ($14 for the sampler)
Tufino also markets itself as a Friggatoria, a place for fried Neapolitan snacks, and fried goodies occupy a substantial part of the menu. You can try most of them in a gargantuan sampler plate that satisfies in generosity if not exceptional quality. Starchy arancini and potato croquettes are mild and enjoyable enough with the thick, cooked tomato sauce that accompanies them, but don't expect them to break new ground beyond the red sauce classicism they embody. An imposing full-sized ball of fresh mozzarella, stuffed with soppresata and porcini mushrooms, begins and ends at excess.
Arugula and Farro Salad ($9)
Arugula and Farro Salad ($9)
Consider skipping salad as well; our farro and arugula, though generously portioned and well-dosed with lemon, did little to lighten up one meal, and the stale fridge flavors soaked up by the topping of ricotta salata left a sour taste in our mouths.
The oven
The oven
The Stefano Ferrara oven fires pizzas at temperatures between 900 and 950°F.