Timone’s: New York-Inspired Pizza Place Invades Morningside
Don’t make the mistake of calling Timone’s a New York-style pizza joint. Chef/owner Ron Eyester prefers the term New York-"inspired" pizza joint. Yes, its décor gives nods to the Big Apple. It has gritty brick wall paneling and paintings of iconic New York celebrities. Each booth represents a borough with tables featuring maps of one of them.
But it’s definitely not a greasy Big Apple dive. It has an open kitchen and a homey bar where sipping beer and wine is welcome. Timone’s (pronounced Tih-moe-nees) is the maiden name of Eyester’s mom, an Italian-American woman from Brooklyn. The food it serves pays homage to her and the rich Italian meals chef Eyester, a transplant from Long Island, grew up feasting on.
The menu consists of family-style meals. Many of the ingredients come from local farms, something Eyester is keen on supporting. At the tasting I attended, Eyester and his team offered generous samples of practically his entire offering. It included helpings of Fried Point Judith Calamari, Rhode Island style, not to be confused with regular calamari. This fried squid is chunky and nestled with giant red peppers, dusted with cheese, and melts in the mouth upon entering. That typical stringy calamari taste is gone.
The giant rice balls, an Italian food staple, were delicious. They had a crispy coating bathed in marinara sauce and were filled inside with sweet peas, prosciutto, and Parmesan cheese. The marinated mushrooms were plump, plentiful, and a vegetarian’s tart delight. Those who are not fans of fried clams — like yours truly — will change their minds given how Eyester prepares them. The clam meat is pulled out, seasoned, breaded, and baked, then put back on its shell for frying. The result? A spicy meaty hit.
Those were just some of the starters.