My family and I recently had the pleasure of dining at Steve’s Wood Fired Pizza in Tuxedo, NY.
My stepdad had found it weeks earlier while returning home from a hike in Harriman Park. After reading the menu, he decided to bring a couple of pies back for the rest of us. The pizza was so good we decided immediately to add it to our list of go-to pizza stops. It didn’t take long for us to find an opportunity to dine in. To celebrate my brother’s impending move to Japan, we had been searching for a location. We wanted to have a cuisine that might be hard to access while abroad. Being NYers, quality pizza immediately came to mind. And so it was that we found an occasion to drive the 20 minutes or so up to Steve’s, and we were not disappointed by our experience.
Walking up to Steve’s Wood Fired Pizza, the bar-style exterior is red with matte-black accents. The outside fools you into thinking you are entering a homie, rustic environment. Once you step inside, the interior is polished and contemporary with a white marble bar top and geometric accent lighting hanging overhead. Behind the bar, you can see an extensive wine rack, espresso machine, and a blackboard with their cocktail offerings. The overall impression is a clean, modern interior a step above your casual pizza place. This is not your local slice joint. We sat outside underneath a pergola lit with moody red lights that gave the seating a contemporary edge. Although it is alongside NY-17, you wouldn’t notice it. A row of tall, conveniently placed hedges blocked out the street backdrop and much of the sounds of traffic. We also sat adjacent to a lovely patch of lavender, which my Mom couldn’t help rubbing into her hands. The wooden benches and stone patio gave the outdoor eating experience an intimate quality.
The pizza itself did not disappoint. This is not a by-the-slice pizza place and the pies are cooked to order, but the wait was worth it. The heat of the wood fire oven allowed them to get an airy crust with those distinctive air pockets that denote a good pizza, and a robust color to the crust. Coming hot and fresh out of the oven, it was a pleasant mix of Neopolitan and NY style that was appropriate for the occasion. Some of the standouts included the arugula prosciutto pie, which overflowed with a topping of grated parmesan, fresh arugula, and delicate, thinly-sliced prosciutto that almost melted in the mouth. The shrimp and pesto pie was a personal favorite, with the generous whole cloves of perfectly roasted garlic smattered across a sea of fresh pesto and tender shrimp. We also ordered the meat lovers and barbecue chicken pies, which featured the same quality cook and ingredients as the others. Again, the ovens make a difference, giving a more complex cook to the meats almost akin to barbecue. When we return, the shrimp and pesto and the arugula prosciutto pies would be the ones we return for. Checking their menu, they have a number of other intriguing options like Hawaiian pizza, vodka pizza, and even a salad pizza.
One of the surprises of the night was the quality of the side items. We ordered both the calzone and the garlic bread: the homemade marinara sauce that came with the calzone was excellent, although the Calzone itself was fairly straightforward. The garlic bread, on the other hand, featured a punchy garlic spread and had that perfect ratio of crunch to fluff that comes from a wood-fired bread base. My advice: skip the calzone, go for the garlic bread, and ask for the sauce. You won’t be sorry. The wings were a standout as well. Made from organic free-range chicken wings and cooked to order in the wood-fired oven, you could taste both the quality of the meat and the complex woody notes from the oven. Our server was kind enough to bring out both the buffalo and bbq sauce on the side. The bbq had a rich, smoky flavor, that paired well with the wings, but the better of the two was the buffalo sauce. Not your traditional buffalo flavor, this sauce is on the sweeter side, with a vinegary bite that makes you pucker your lips and crave more at the same time. I snuck some of it to pour over my pizza and it was a great combination.
In all, it was a great location for my brother’s send-off. The servers were friendly and informative. They helped us out a ton with both food accommodations and recommendations. We hydrated with Warwick-local Doc’s Cider, the perfect drink to accompany a crisp fall night in the Hudson Valley. I haven’t done my research on the pizza scene in Japan, although I’m sure there are some excellent options. Hopefully, my brother will find a great spot for all of his pizza needs. For those of us still here in the Lower Hudson Valley, Steve’s Wood-Fired Pizza is a great option for a quality pie.