The new Cazzio’s Pizza and Pasta in E. Northport serves 40 different pies


John Parini’s grandmother, Carol, hated the nickname ‘Caz.’ Now — for the second time — that dreaded nickname adorns a family business.

“One of my grandfather’s pizzeria’s back in the day was Cazzio’s,” Parini said. “The story behind Cazzio’s is he always used to call my grandmother ‘Caz,’ and when he opened up the pizzeria he did Cazzio’s. She hated it, so my grandfather used to antagonize her with it.”

The 24-year-old from Bay Shore man planned to open his own Cazzio’s Pizza and Pasta Oct. 14, his grandmother’s birthday, but plans were delayed. Instead, he opened on his grandfather’s birthday, Oct. 28.

“I did it in memory of my grandparents because they practically raised me,” Parini said. “My mom was a single mother, so I grew up living in their house and I watched my grandfather cook.

“He was a very big inspiration for me,” he continued. “I used to watch him cook and I always knew that’s what I wanted to do when I grew up.”

The restaurant bug runs in the Parini family. His aunt and uncle, Nick and Rachel Parini, owned the beloved Nicky’s on the Bay for nearly two decades, and their children, Joey and Christine Parini, run Nicky’s Clam Bar.

John Parini describes himself as family-oriented, growing up with family dinners around the table. Now, he hopes to feed families in East Northport with 40 different classic and specialty pies.

Beyond the classic cheese, Sicilian and grandma pies, Parini’s creations include the Angry Nonna with ricotta, soppressata, provolone, mozzarella, and Mike’s Hot Honey; a baked clam pie; and his signature Cazzio pie with cognac cream sauce, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, truffle oil and shaved parmigiana.

In the kitchen, Parini and his staff cook fresh meatballs, rice balls and an array of chicken, veal and seafood for heroes and entrees. Among his favorites are the chicken francese and chicken scarpariello, a recipe he said is a near replica of the one he watched his grandfather whip up as a child.

“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” he said.