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Only in Ocean City: Al Forno Fabulous All Year Long at Albertino’s

Albertino’s Brick Oven Eatery is located at 131st Street in Ocean City.

Have you ever had a pizza that changed your life?

A brick oven pizza is not your standard fare. Allow me to share some pizza industry secrets. As a chef, I feel it necessary to tell you some hard facts: Most commercial pizza eateries use a piece of equipment called an impinger (or impinger oven) to cook their pizzas and baked items. This is basically a metal tabletop or floor oven with a conveyor belt that runs through it. The item is placed on the belt and it is slowly drawn inside. Heating elements above and below, nestled in aluminum casing, bake the item top and bottom at the same time. The result is a quickly, consistently and evenly baked pizza.

While this sounds like an amazing kitchen invention, it lets down a real pizza enthusiast like those in my family. Why? An impinger-baked pizza is nowhere near an oven-baked pizza on many levels, including crust crispness, cheese bubbliness and that slight char flavor that is so utterly craveable. The toppings tenderize and sink into the gooey mozzarella, the edges of the rounded hand-tossed dough turn dark amber and the tap of crust on the plate results in a hauntingly satisfying crunch.

If you’re not drooling yet, I’m not sure we can be friends.

If you want a brick-oven-baked pizza in Ocean City, one that will change the way you feel about pizza, stop by Albertino’s for lunch or dinner. Once you have a pizza baked in a wood-fired, 900-degree oven, you won’t be able to enjoy impinger pizza again. They’re open year-round, offer relaxed, family-friendly service and an atmosphere full of old-world charm, perfect for socializing, so you have no excuses to not spoil yourself a little.

I would be remiss to not mention the other menu offerings, though the pizza is hard to pull myself away from. Abundant pasta selections, including Bolognaise authentically made with pork and veal, hand-filled pastas and seafood-centric offerings will appeal to non-pizza patrons. Allow me to recommend the Lump Crab Mac and Cheese, made with gouda and white cheddar. Draft beer, including local craft brews, are ready to go with your pizza of choice or choose a wine to pair with your entrée.

Specials are offered daily, including half-price pizza and pasta lunches, perfect for quick breaks during your vacation or work days. In addition, Chef’s Specials are offered to capture the best seasonal flavors and finds. On my particular visit, a veggie-centric pasta dish was on offer. Asking for accommodation for restrictions is also fine with the chef and they’ll do what they can to make every member of your crew comfortable.

If you can’t leave a restaurant without a sweet finish, Albertino’s offers some Italian specialties to placate your cravings. Imported sweet cocoa-dusted Tiramisu pairs beautifully with their snickerdoodle-spiked coffee, and though I’d usually recommend The Big Chocolate as a post-meal splurge, the Lemon Berry Mascarpone cream cake, baked with cinnamon streusel then filled with fruit, is pretty spectacular.

Did you enjoy your brick oven pizza? Are there more local places in OC I should check out? Be sure to leave a comment and share this article!

Jill Denton
Jill Dentonhttp://www.chefjilldoesthat.com%20
Jill Marie Denton, published author of the Second Saga series, also known as Chef Jill Siena, has spent most of her years right here on the Eastern Shore, near the heart of the Chesapeake, only wandering away to attend culinary school in Chicago and extern in Atlanta thereafter. Now that she's back, she's spending her days cooking for her friends and neighbors, working for the State of Delaware, and loving the food and culture of the surrounding states. Ocean City and its people have a particular place in her heart, as many of her clients and friends are year-round patrons, business owners and proud Marylanders. She's all about good food, sharing sunshine and living your best life. Come check out what she's up to on FB, IG, YouTube and her website! Her paperback and eBook novels are available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and many other national booksellers.

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