Danny’s Pizza is the pie specialist | Food and drink

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ENFIELD – For more than 50 years, Danny Poggie has been serving customers at restaurants in Enfield and Somers, starting as a bartender before establishing an award-winning pizza business – Danny’s Pizza on Hazard Avenue.

“I had a place in Somers called Colony Villa Pizza,” he said.

Poggie said he sold Colony Villa Pizza, but the buyer lost his lease and moved behind Dalene Flooring and Carpet One on Hazard Avenue, right next to Danny’s Pizza’s current location.

When the owner was unable to continue paying Poggie for the purchase of Colony Villa, Poggie said he made a deal with him to take over the restaurant.

“We were next for 11 years at the back of the mat,” Poggie said. “Then we bought this place next door, renovated it and have been here for 16 years.”

“We did very well,” he said.

The current location used to be a chiropractor’s office before he bought it, he said, and required him to renovate the place and get almost all new equipment.

Pizza has always been what Poggie has done, and when it comes to the menu, he said he never wanted to do a big menu, keeping it pretty simple.

“Basically pizzas, sandwiches, wraps and quesadillas,” he said. “We do dinner parties, but I didn’t want to be just another place hosting dinner parties. I figured I would just focus on pizzas and sandwiches.

Danny’s Pizza offers two types of pizza, a pan pizza with a thicker crust and a thin crust pizza which is baked directly on the stone in the stone oven.

Most of the time, he said, making two-way pizza requires him and his staff to use two ovens, but on slow days — if he’s careful and attentive — he can bake both styles of pizza. in a single oven.

The crown jewel of Danny’s Pizza is its award-winning chicken cordon bleu pizza.

“I entered it into a contest at a pizza magazine,” he said. “They have a show every year in Atlantic City with five East Coast pizza places. I won a free trip to Atlantic City, got a check for $500, and had to go to the show and show how to make pizza. Chicken and bacon is always a popular combination and a white sauce we put on it. It’s a hearty pizza. You can’t eat a lot of it.

There are other designer pizzas on the menu, he said, including the Santa Fe Chicken Pizza, the Rajun Cajun Pizza and the popular Taco Pizza.

“We have a dozen on the list,” he said.

Pan pizzas are available in three sizes: the small 10 inch, the large 16 inch and the extra large 18 inch. The thin crust comes in a 20 inch New York style pie.

What sets Danny’s pizza apart from other local pizzerias, he says, is the dough and the sauce.

“I put more eggs in the dough,” he said. “It makes it thicker, makes it more puffy and more like a loaf. It’s not hard. It’s not crispy.

“We use a basic tomato product and spices,” he said of the sauce. “What we don’t do is put sugar in it, so it’s not a very sweet sauce. Most places put sugar in their pizza sauce. We don’t.

For their pasta sauces, however, he said they make a variety.

“We offer different sauces for our dinners,” he said. “We have a regular marinara, Bolognese sauce, which is a meat sauce, and then we have one called Luigi sauce, which is a marinara with added cream. Then we have the Old World sauce, which is almost identical to what they serve at Disney World. A friend of mine was working on it and showed me how to do it. It’s a really healthy sauce. Lots of vegetables in it all crunched in a blender. You wouldn’t know it was in the sauce. It’s less spicy and a bit sweeter. This is probably the most popular sauce we have.

Every Monday and Tuesday, Danny’s offers a special where customers can choose, mix and match their own pasta and sauce, served with meatballs and garlic bread for $8.95.

Danny’s Pizza is a family business. Poggie’s daughter, granddaughter and two sons work there.

“We have a lot of preparation,” said Stacy Carattini, Poggie’s daughter. “It’s not canned mushrooms, it’s not canned peppers. He roasts all his peppers.

Carattini said she had worked intermittently for her father for 27 years, working with him at all three restaurants.

“It can be fun, but also stressful,” she said.

She said it was good to see her father still working at the age of 74.

“It’s what he likes to do,” she said, “also upset because of the pandemic, it’s been very stressful. We’re doing our best. We have our own following. He’s not competing with nobody. He does what he does and he loves it.”

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