Salvatore Pollito is a pie man, no two ways about it. Ten years ago he opened a solid slice joint in Queens. Then, when he felt he had mastered the art of the slice, he decided to tackle coal-fired, brick-oven pizza, inspired by his many ttips to Totonno's and Patsy's. He has done that successfully at Bella Via, which, with its brick walls and big windows, is one of the more cheerful pizzerias I have come across.
Pollito had a local guy build the oven at Bella Via, and tucked it into the back of the place in full view of the salivating patrons, who watch as he turns out beautiful pies. Pollito uses low-moisture, slightly aged mozzarella, Italian tomatoes, and fine locally sourced sausage on his pies. His crust is fairly thin, bready, and soft and doesn't have much chew to it.