There is nothing ordinary or subtle about Angelina’s Fireshack & Pizzeria, the new restaurant that opened April 30 at 900 Jericho Turnpike. With dishes like Brooklyn Decker, Big Bird and Friends, The Big Kahuna Tuna and Napolean’s Dynamite, you get the immediate sense that Angelina’s is special.
And that is the point, said Shai Eapen, one of the proprietors.
“We are unique, we are different," he said. "There is no one like us. Our food will leave you full but wanting more.”
Business has been very brisk in the first three weeks since Angelina’s opened. Its main dining area seats 16, although expansion plans are already in the works. Behind the dining area is a cool bar that seats four and features many micro brews and other drinks.
Eapen said Angelina’s has averaged 14 customers an hour during the week.
“Sixty-eight percent of the customers eat-in while 32 percent order takeout," he explained, adding that the restaurant delivers.
On Friday, May 20, for example, the restaurant sold 42 hamburgers, 39 pizza pies, 90 pounds of chicken wings and three and a half cases of beer -- a pretty robust day for a restaurant that has not yet had an official “grand opening.” That will be on June 18, according to a member of the .
If Eapen is the numbers guy, Arthur (Artie) Ruvinsky, a proprietor and chef; and sous chef Tommy Mitrakos are the culinary guys. Ruvnisky worked for more than 10 years as a chef at Westbury Manor and five years as a chef at New Hyde Park Inn. All the food is made fresh, with the finest ingredients, he said.
“I look at myself as a teacher here,” Ruvinsky said.
Mitrakos attended two culinary schools, worked as a chef at two five-star restaurants in Manhattan and owns a diner.
“I have been in this business since I was 12-years-old,” Mitrakos said.
All three share a desire to make this venture a success, one that New Hyde Park will be proud of. So far, so good, they said.
“Business has been overwhelming, it’s really taken us aback,” Eapen said. “Word of mouth has spread like wildfire.”
Which is appropriate since Angelina’s mantra is: “We’re Bringing the Heat, Prepare to Burn.”
What’s hot here are the wings, especially the “Insanity” wings that feature a special “Ghost Chili” sauce that is reputed to be the hottest in the world. So hot that Mitrakos wears a fireman’s mask (he is also a ) when preparing the sauce, because the fumes can be overwhelming.
“So far three people have tried it,” Mitrakos said. “I recommend trying one wing.”
Angelina’s plans to host a hot wing-eating contest in the near future, one of three contests this creative group is cooking up.
In addition to wings and pizza, patrons can order from a generous selection of salads, subs and other specials – even wild boar and elk. Those items fall under heading “Are You Game.”
“This is not just a place to eat, it’s an experience,” Eapen said.
“When people leave here, they walk out as friends, family,” Ruvinsky added.