Upon entering 976 Elmwood Ave., an array of pizzas is laid out on the stone countertop, waiting to be devoured by hungry customers. The scents of pepperoni, sausage and Italian food fill the air, and mouths start to salivate.
Welcome to the newest location of Zetti’s Pizza & Pasta at the corner of Bidwell Parkway and Elmwood Avenue.
“I like the fact that they put all their pizzas out so you can see them,” Edward Tierney said. “It’s like a candy shop.”
Zetti’s is different from other Buffalo pizzerias, as it specializes in New York-style pizza. That pizza is usually thin, wide and “foldable,” with a puffy outer crust tapering down to a thin, crispy middle.
Tierney, 47, lives on Bidwell Parkway, right across from Zetti’s, and has now visited the new location three times since it opened just under two weeks ago.
Aside from the scent and display of pizzas, the dining area of the restaurant holds 13 wooden tables of various sizes. The cream and purple walls and lighting are modern, bright and open. Large windows in the front of the building offer diners a view of Elmwood Avenue.
“I think they did a good job of utilizing the space,” Tierney said.
Customers will find a variety of options on the menu, which offers more than just pizza and pasta.
A slice of cheese pizza is $1.80, and since the slices are New York-style, a slice is the size of two slices at other pizzerias in the area.
Zetti’s also has several gourmet pizza options, including a Penne alla Vodka pizza, which includes penne pasta, vodka sauce and mozzarella cheese.
In addition to pizza, there are hero sandwiches, calzones and entrees.
While the menu includes traditional Italian dishes, other unique options are also available, including pasta a coure, which includes shrimp, chicken and artichoke hearts sauteed in a white wine lemon butter sauce over pasta.
Zetti’s isn’t the first pizzeria to open in this location. Just Pizza was housed there before it moved to the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Summer Street. Uncle Joe’s Pizzeria was also located in the building, which was built in 1895.
“It’s good to have it in the Elmwood area,” Bill Nimelman said.
Nimelman, 50, also lives on Bidwell Parkway across from the restaurant.
This is Zetti’s third location in the Buffalo area. They have restaurants across from both SUNY University at Buffalo campus locations, including one at 3500 Main St. in Amherst. The other location, at 4621 Maple Road, opened in November 2009.
Hours for the Elmwood location aren’t solidified yet, but an employee said the restaurant is likely to be open until midnight on weeknights and 2 a.m. on weekends. Customers can eat in, take out, or call for delivery.