Long Island’s Best Food: Gino’s Pizza & Steiner’s Pastry Shop in Manhasset

Date January 26, 2009

My culinary conquests are mainly focused on NYC but we can’t forget about the island to the east, Long Island, where there’s more great food than people realize.   NYC Food Guy is here to make your sojourns outside the city more enjoyable by shedding light on Long Island’s best food.   This post focuses on one block in Manhasset, walking distance from the LIRR station, where Gino’s Pizzeria and Steiner’s Pastry Shop are putting the majority of Manhattan’s slice joints and bakeries to shame.

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Gino’s Pizza

480 Plandome Road
Manhasset, NY11030
516-627-5280

Gino’s, a classic Long Island pizza chain, is the first place I ever tried a Grandma slice.  But it’s not nostalgia that keeps me coming back, it’s the consistently delicious pizza.  The thin-crust Grandma pizza receives a dressing of olive oil and chopped garlic before a healthy amount of shredded mozzarella and dollops of hearty, fresh-made marinara sauce are spread over the pie.  The resulting flavor conjures thoughts of a homemade Italian meal and when fresh, it’s one of the best Grandma slices I’ve had.

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Other items that deserve attention are the airy Sicilian slice, the classic and cheesy regular slice and the Gino’s salad, a mix of iceberg lettuce, carrots, sweet pimentos, olives, cucumbers and a healthy handful of mozzarella cheese all topped with Gino’s hearty Italian dressing.  Asking for Romaine lettuce over iceberg enhances the salad.  All of these recommendations hold true at the Great Neck and Port Washington branches of Gino’s.

Steiner’s Pastry Shop

432 Plandome Road
Manhasset, NY 11030
516-627-2201
Open 6pm to 6AM Tues. – Sat.
Open 6Am to 2PM Sun.
Closed Monday

Steiner’s Pastry Shop is a relic of the golden age of bakeries, when everything was made on premises by people who thought of dessert making as an existence not a job.  For the last 29 years, Franz Steiner’s breads, cakes, danishes, doughnuts and cookies have been making stomachs happy.

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The item I recommend above all is the fresh-baked cinnamon & sugar covered Jelly doughnut ($1.45).  Best when eaten at the beginning of the day, it’s slightly firm exterior reveals yeasty insides brimming with sweet raspberry jelly.  It’s a classic, old school Jelly doughnut.  You can’t go wrong.

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For a taste of  buttery crumb cake, go for the mini apple crumb ($3.95), filled with juicy, fresh tasting apples.

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The decadent crumbs dissolve with each bite, forming a cinnamon and sugar infused layer of deliciousness around the tender, sweet sliced apples.

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If you enjoy the flavor of almond paste, set your sights on the Almond Danish ($2.75) whose lacquered exterior reveals a butery interior.

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This airy pastry derives its deliciousness more from the finely-chopped sugar and cinnamon sweetened almonds rolled inside, than it does the drizzle of generic vanilla icing on top.

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The Scottish Coffee Cake (Prices vary) differs from any coffee cake I’ve ever had.  The combo of nuts, raisins and coconut provide a textural trip, but the main flavor of this crunchy and chewy creation is just plain “sweet.”

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Take a closer look at the sugary sedimentation taking place.  Once the crispy, buttery sugar on top dissolves into each bite, the remaining flavor is coconut.  The raisins don’t provide enough of a tart counter flavor as they should.

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The cinnamon danish ($2.75) was the most disappointing of the bunch.  Although it’s cakey yet airy body was sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, it could have used the top layer of crystalization we see crowning the Scottish coffee cake.  Instead the sweetness takes a backseat to the yeasty inner cake.

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One More Recommendation in Manhasset

Edison’s Ale House

550 Plandome Rd
Manhasset, NY 11030
516-627-7722

This sports bar doubles as a respectable grill, serving up quality burgers, decent wings, and salads even mom can enjoy.  It’s an institution in Manhasset and a seat at the bar is an invitation to have a few beers and stay as long as you’d like.

27 Responses to “Long Island’s Best Food: Gino’s Pizza & Steiner’s Pastry Shop in Manhasset”

  1. air-bud said:

    the airy sicilian slice hahah

  2. Phil said:

    Food Guy – I have some cousins that live out in port washington but i’m sad to say I haven’t tried Gino’s pizza. How are their regular slices? Have you tried the garlic knots?

  3. JT said:

    Hey food guy I used to live in that area and theres another pizza joint in Manhasset you should try called Villa Millanos which I think is even better than Ginos.

    And its funny you you mentioned Edisons, another one of my favorites. you should look up the book The Tender Bar. Its the history of the place.

  4. phil-ate said:

    also where has kristen been? i would love to party with her. nycfg-when you you doing the wing tour?

  5. FN said:

    Excuse my French but holy S*** that jelly donut looks good! Now you’re talking, NYCFG. I would skip the pizza altogether and go straight for the treats!

  6. phil-ate said:

    JT-I disagree with you affection for the The Tender Bar. I dont belive it was very well written or much of an original concept. I prefer to watch Cheers.

  7. Phil said:

    hmm phil-ate??? quite humorous if i may say so myself. kudos to you.

    that mini apple crumb looks orgasmic :)

  8. phil-ate said:

    its very versatile.

    such as:

    Phil ate a sausage.

  9. Phil said:

    wow your immature as all hell but absolutely hysterical. i can honestly say that never in my entire life has someone made fun of my name using it as a sexual act….. i’m shocked…

  10. Phil said:

    you’re*

  11. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Phil,
    Funny you ask about the knots because at the Gino’s in Great Neck, they’re some of the best knots I’ve ever had. Chewy dough is doused in garlic, spices and parmesan cheese. They’re great. I can’t vouch for them at Manhasset or Port Washington Gino’s but the pizza is similarly delicious so I can’t imagine them being bad. The regular slices are definitely solid, not the best I’ve ever had but they’re better than most of the crap in Manhattan and they’ll hit the spot. Have you eaten anywhere good in Port Washington? There’s a place called Hickory that someone told me about out there, saying they have an unbelievable chicken sandwich. Haven’t tried it yet, definitely on the Long Island list.

    JT,
    Thanks for the recommendation on Villa Milano’s. Anything you specifically suggest I try there? Where is it exactly?

    That’s interesting about Edison’s. I looked up the book Tender Bar and red an excerpt on the books website and it really gets Manhasset down. “Lacrosse and liquor.” Good stuff. How did you find out about that?

    FN,
    Nothing better than a great Jelly Doughnut. There are similarly old school doughnuts like this at Glaser’s bakery on 87th street and 1st avenue. They also make an excellent cinnamon danish and black and white cookie.

  12. randy said:

    Nothing better than a great Jelly Doughnut????? i can name a thousand things better than a jelly donut

  13. truthman said:

    At Gino’s, it’s a good idea to check your bill. Sometimes they just seem to make up a number.

    And Edison’s is physically the same building as The Tender Bar, but after that, nothing is the same, especially the people.

    Steiner’s Bakery is at least 50 years old and wonderful.

    And Food Guy, those three places are on three different blocks, not one block.

  14. kristen said:

    ahhhh it’s been so long but i’m finally back!! i was hospitalized for freaking PNEUMONIA and have been out of action i almost died seriously! good news is i lost SO Much weight in the hospital cuz i could barely eat and i look amazing!! problem is now i’m back and ready to EAT!!!! (and drink obvs!)

    i havent been drunk in almost a month i didnt know i could ever go that long without my fav stoli-o and soda hehe.

    food guy, i’ve been craving SALAD PIZZA — where can i get a great salad slice (around murray hillz preferably!)

    and ps. phil-ate – i’ll be out in the hillz on thursday night if you’re trying to go out!

  15. phil-ate said:

    great news kristen. i hope i see you out! although i wish it was springtime so i could see your feet!

  16. Master said:

    As always, your food porn makes me salivate, Foodguy.

    Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Are you allowed to eat jelly doughnuts, Private Pyle?
    Private Gomer Pyle: Sir, no, sir!

  17. Dr. Dyspepsia said:

    Surely, we can do better for pizza than Gino’s on Long Island’s Gold Coast. To name a few:
    1. Elio’s, Great Neck. Alas, it is no more, but I remember it fondly.
    2. La Rotunda, also Great Neck. Genuine fire-stoked ovens, choice of toppings in single pies.
    3. Eddie’s Pizza, New Hyde Park. Thin crust bar pies in a convivial atmosphere. Eat one, eat three, have some beers, too.
    4. Umberto’s New Hyde Park: when it’s good, it’s great!

    Nevertheless, Gino’s is reliably tasty. Just don’t even TRY delivery on a Saturday night. It will come some time on Sunday morning.

  18. The NYC Food Guy said:

    randy,
    Ha, I feel ya man. It was more a figure of speech than a true statement. A good jelly doughnut is pretty fantastic though. Name a couple desserts you’d rather have than a good jelly doughnut.

    truthman,

    Steiner’s, Gino’s and Edison’s are all so close together on Plandome road, they’re practically on the same block. But you are correct, they’re on different blocks. Interesting note about Gino’s and checking the bill. It has never been an issue for me, does this just apply to the Manhasset branch? There’s a sign in the window of Steiner’s that said something about 29 years, that’s where I got that info from. How do you know they’ve been open longer? Are you from Manhasset originally?

    kristen,

    Welcome back. Sorry to hear you weren’t feeling well but glad to hear you’re back in action now. It’s funny you mention salad slices because Gino’s in this post has great salad slices. I’ll keep my eyes peeled in Murray Hill, however, for a salad slice for you. I know it exists at Pizza 33 but I’ve never actually seen it myself. Let us know if you try it and it’s good.

    Master,

    Thanks brother. Really appreciate it. I’ll try to keep it coming.
    “Your days of _____________ Mary J. Rottencrotch through her little pink panties are over.” Fill in the blank Master.

    Dr. Dyspepsia,
    Nice contribution and round up as usual Doc. Never a fan of Elio’s and don’t really love Rotunda, the sauce is a little too sweet for me, but Eddie’s thin crust bar pies and everything at Umberto’s is pretty excellent. I think Mama Teresa’s and Joanne’s also deserve shout outs, Mama T’s for their Grandma’s, regular, sicilian and buffalo chicken and Joanne’s for the BBQ Chicken and buffalo chicken. Have you been to either of those?

  19. Dr. Dyspepsia said:

    Been to Mama Teresa, but didn’t have pizza. Pretty good.
    Joanne’s? Never heard of it. Where is it?

    And your palate doesn’t lie: Elio’s and Rotunda are on the sweet side. I think I like those places (past tense for Elio’s) because I’m more concerned about the toppings. See you around.

  20. Master said:

    Sir, finger-banging, SIR!

  21. JT said:

    food guy you should definitely go to Hickorys in Port Washington and get the chicken special sandwich..grilled chicken, bacon, and swiss with some of the best BBQ sauce I’ve ever had, make sure you also try the spicy fries. For pizza in port washington, Carlos Pizza on main street is the best in my opinion.

    Villa Milanos is on main street, right across from mary jane davies green park.. near the train station.

    and regarding my comment on The Tender Bar, I just said its the HISTORY of the place. Obviously its nothing like publicans anymore, my father grew up in Manhasset and can account for a lot of the people and stories written about in there.

  22. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Dr. Dyspepsia,
    Joanne’s you definitely know, its on Nothern Blvd. next to Dunkin Donuts and Bryant and Cooper right at the fork heading to Roslyn. The most bang for your buck when it comes to chicken covered pizza.

    Master,
    Nice work.

    JT,
    Dude, that’s exactly how the Hickory sandwich was described to me, the best sauce ever. What else do you recommend there? Hard to believe but never been to Carlos in Port. Villa Milano is on Main St. in Port too?

    That must be pretty cool for your dad to read that book then.

  23. JT said:

    Villa is on main st in manhasset, carlos is in port. sorry about that

  24. Gino's Pizza Manhasset Long Island | worstpizza.com - Best Pizza Reviews From The Experts said:

    [...] would like to thank nycfoodguy.com for sending in these [...]

  25. Foodie said:

    I also like Villa Milano better than Gino’s, though the Manhasset Gino’s is definitely better than the Great Neck one. Villa Milano has the right kind of crust – thin and foldy. They’re also generous with the cheese. Antoninos in Manhasset (corner of Northern and East Shore Rd.) could could rival Vila Milano (nice sauce, good quality cheese) but their crust is too thick. Even when you tell them to thin it out they just can’t seem to do it. Shame.

    Dr. Dyspepsia gave some great recommendations except for Elios, that boggled my mind. There’s a reason they went out of business. It was just bad… like one step up from cafeteria pizza and that’s it. They were cheap though.

  26. Theresa said:

    What you have sampled at Steiner’s Pastry Shop is just the tip of the icing(!)… have you tried the French Baguettes? Sublime. The Croisants? Heavenly. The Melt-a-ways? Paradise. Do yourself a favor and GO THERE!, and GO THERE OFTEN! to sample all of the “made the old fashioned way” pastries, pies, tarts, cakes and breads. Oh, and by the way, the Flourless Chocolate Cake? To die for. And I’m not kidding!

  27. aurora said:

    The Tender Bar which is the setting for much of Edison’s forbear pub, Publicans, is a WONDERFUL read, despite what one critic above said. In fact I’m here visiting family and we’re making a special triip to Edison’s just because ofhaving read the book.

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