L’Inizio means ‘the beginning’ in Italian. When speaking about cooking, L’Inizio Pizza Bar owner and LIC native, Tom Blaze emphasizes that his approach is about going back to the basics; Quality and simplicity. Every single ingredient at L’Inizio Pizzeria falls into one of more categories: Organic, Home Made, and Fresh. I’ve loved the pizza at L’Inizio since they opened last August; now I know why.
Tom places an equal amount of intention and care into the design and overall atmosphere inside L’Inizio. From the floor tiles (Italian) to the light fixtures, Tom chose them all. His hope was to create a welcoming and relaxed space for people to enjoy quality pizza. More casual than Italian dining, but certainly more elevated than your average “slice joint.”
When he isn’t overseeing every operational aspect of the business, you can find him happily tending the garden out back. There you will find the source of their fresh basil, zucchini, tomatoes, hot peppers and more.
I arrived hungry which proved wise as I was given not one but two delicious slices to try. First up, on top of the fresh mozzeralla was jalepeno and sautéed onions that was perfectly spicy with the onions balancing the heat nicely.
Next, a slice with soppressetta and marinated cherry tomatoes that alleviated a pleasantly residual spiciness. If you are adventurous and have a spicy palette, try the marinated hot pepper sauce that is in a jar on the counter from which you can help yourself.
All that pizza got me thirsty, which was perfect because they invited me to explore their relatively new wine and beer bar. They have a well curated selection of Italian and California wines as well as three beers on tap.
When I asked how he chose the wine and beer, he went back to their guiding principles of quality as well as the importance of enhancing the innate flavor of the food. The Gavi white wine I sipped did just that: complimented and balanced my delicious meal.
When you visit L’Inizio (and you should), step out back to the garden. There you will see first hand their commitment to freshness as you see the basil, hot peppers, and tomatoes growing around the perimeter. Nestled in the center are metal bistro tables and chairs situated under charming string lights. It is definitely one of the most charming outdoor seating areas in the neighborhood.
If at all possible, save room for dessert. I enjoyed a cannoli made in the Southern Italy style (read: delicious), while my daughter enjoyed their famous zeppoli. (Fried dough and powdered sugar. Amazingly, not greasy.)
If you can’t make it the restaurant, fear not. L’Inizio delivers within Long Island City, so you can enjoy their delicious pizza in the comfort of your own home. Call for delivery or check them out on seamless.
L’Inizio is approaching their 1st anniversary, and has quickly become a bustling and satisfying addition to the neighborhood. Salute!