A sampler of the varied menu offerings at Renato’s New Haven Style Pizza. / Photos, renatospizzawestport.com
Carlos Monroy bakes pizza in the brick oven at the newly opened Renato’s New Haven Style Pizza on Riverside Avenue in Saugatuck. / Photos by Gretchen Webster

By Gretchen Webster

WESTPORT — There’s a new “pizzaiolo” in town, hoping for a slice of the seemingly inexhaustible appetite Westporters have for pizza.

Carlos Monroy, the owner of Renato’s New Haven Style Pizza, has taken more than six months to prepare his new restaurant the way he likes it, but now he’s ready to serve up 28 pie varieties, specializing in the thin-crust style that New Haven pizza makers made famous. The eatery, located at 539 Riverside Ave. in the Saugatuck section of town, opened Oct. 18.

Renato’s pizza offerings range from “Firecracker Pizza,” featuring fresh jalapenos, sausage, hot oil, Bermuda onions and mozzarella cheese, to “White Specialty Pizza,” such as the Farmer Pizza with burrata, roasted tomato, carmelized onions and pesto drizzle. In addition to New Haven-style pizzas, Renato’s also offers “New York Sicilian” pizzas, both traditional and “Grandma” varieties.

There’s also the option of choosing from among scores of fresh and premium toppings for diners to design their own pies, which can be ordered in various sizes.

The restaurant is located where Parker Pizza formerly operated, and Monroy installed a new counter for bar-style dining in addition to tables. His take-out business is already strong, he said, noting that business was brisk last Friday and Saturday, the first weekend since opening.

The Monroy children welcoming customers to Renato’s, from left, Jean Carlos, 4; Kaley, 7, and Janelly, 10.

Monroy has worked in culinary field of making pizza for 12 years, he said, all of it making New Haven-style pizza, which he described as featuring a thin crust and baked in a charcoal-fired oven.

Despite pizza being Renato’s specialty, there are plenty of other menu choices, including entrees like Brick Oven Lasagna with meat ragu, ricotta and san marzano sauce, eggplant rollatini, chicken scarpiello, veal parmigiana and a range of pastas.

Also on offer are appetizers like mozzarella sticks and calamari, and salads including garnishes like roasted beets or grilled salmon. 

The menu even includes burgers and other hot sandwiches. 

Renato’s also offers a full catering menu.

Monroy and his family are proud of the new shop, he said, and look forward to welcoming customers.

Renato’s New Haven Style Pizza, 539 Riverside Ave., is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Phone: 203-557-3434.

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Freelance writer Gretchen Webster, a Fairfield County journalist and journalism teacher for many years, was editor of the Fairfield Minuteman newspaper for 10 years and teaches journalism at Southern Connecticut State University.