You might have noticed that there is no shortage of wood fired pizza in the Lower Hudson Valley right now. Some is better than others, of course, and Salerno native and Arthur Avenue veteran Roberto Paciullo just threw down the gauntlet.
Paciullo opened Zero Otto Nove in Armonk this week, his fourth restaurant, and is already managing a crowd at the door every night, hankering for his family-style Southern Italian entrees and pillowy, charred pizzas. In addition to an identical menu, the newest Zero Otto Nove does not accept reservations.
“If I did reservations you’d have to wait until January to get a weekend table!” he says. “This way, you come and drink wine and relax, then sit to eat.”
Read: Arthur Avenue in Armonk
With his thick Italian accent and elegant charisma as he drifts around the dining floor, welcoming guests and sipping espresso, it’s easy to see why Roberto Paciullo is a successful chef. His restaurants feel homey— like a well-decorated, airy European home with an incredible wine cellar. There are 450 wines (Italian and American only) in the glass enclosed room adjacent to the marble-topped bar.
He’s also a stickler about his cooking, dead set on maintaining the pizza dough and handmade pasta recipes he first developed with a mentor in Salerno. And in a tour of his brand new kitchen Paciullo showed us the elaborate water filter system he has in place to bring the Armonk water up to par with what he’s used to in the city.
“The water really affects the dough,” he says. “And the dough is everything.”