La Margherita
1229 Station Road
Medford, NY 11763

Long Island's First Wood Burning Brick Oven Pizza

La Margherita is a family owned and operated Italian restaurant located in Medford on Station Road. This restaurant has been a staple in the Medford community for many years and continues to lure in Long Islanders in search of a delicious Italian meal along with great service.

Owner Joe Illiano has been in the business for over 40 years. He came to America
“from the other side” (Italy) when he was 17 years old and was brought up working in a pizzeria. He attended the Culinary School of Italy for just four months before coming to the United States and in 1982 he opened his first restaurant. Tony’s Pizza, also located in Medford, is still in business today and is operated by Joe's son, Lou. Joe has four sons, all of who are very much involved in the family business. Although he trusts his boys with the business, Joe is not ready for them to take over just yet.


The alluring smell from the wood burning brick oven can be sensed from the parking lot and will lead you right inside. According to Joe, La Margherita is home to the first wood burning brick oven pizza on Long Island introduced roughly 20 years ago. That made us all the more eager to begin our dining experience. The pizzeria is immediately to your left upon entering and to the right you’ll find the charming, dimly lit dining room. 

Joe’s youngest son, Gian Michael, was our server for the evening. He was personable, accommodating and extremely informative. It was clear he knew the menu inside out and his deep passion for the business is extremely apparent. He’s an animated, charming server who is bound to enhance your dining experience for the better.


We began with a breadbasket filled with a warm, fresh assortment of breads (above left) along with a Fennel Salad consisting of fennel, oranges, spinach, walnuts and pignoli nuts topped with a balsamic vinaigrette (above right). The fresh ingredients combined to create a beautifully presented salad and depictive of something you’d see over in Italy.

The Hot Antipasto offers a little bit of everything – stuffed eggplant, stuffed mushrooms, baked clams, stuffed shrimp and mussels (below left). The stuffed eggplant really stood out, as it was extremely flavorful and stuffed with ham, ricotta and fresh mozzarella. The seafood was fresh and enjoyable and this appetizer is great to share amongst others.


As our next course was being prepared, Gian Michael offered us three side salads to sample – a Greek Salad (above right), Mixed Salad (below left) and Caesar Salad (below right). All salads featured fresh, top-notch ingredients and we thoroughly enjoyed them all, especially the Caesar Salad which was topped with a delicious, traditional Caesar dressing.


The brick oven pizza’s found at La Margherita are made with fresh, hand pulled mozzarella cheese and a plum tomato sauce, something you do not see much in pizzerias anymore. The La Margherita Pizza is the pie they’re famous for and we sampled a 12’’ version of the pizza that was just superb (below). It’s a genuine pizza pie with a simple, admirable presentation and a nice crunchy crust compliments of the wood burning oven. We learned the pizza pie cooks in two minutes from the direct fire of the oven and it’s an extremely light pizza because it’s made with plum tomato sauce, not your average pizza sauce. 


Due to its high demand and popularity, the Brick Oven Chicken is a specialty item that is generally available every other week (below left). The chicken is served on the bone, cooked to perfection in the wood burning oven and served with a sweet potato and broccoli rabe. The chicken was just out of this world – juicy and succulent with an incredible char grilled flavor. Joined by the nicely prepared broccoli rabe and sweet potato, the Brick Oven Chicken is a standout menu item. If you're lucky enough to go on a night it's being offered, we definitely suggest you order it. Your taste buds will thank you.


The Chicken Rollatine is another must order chicken entrée (above right). The tender, fresh chicken is stuffed with mozzarella and ham, and then sautéed in a luscious Marsala wine sauce. It’s a true homerun on the menu that we’d highly recommend.

We ended our meal with two homemade “dessert shots” of Limoncello and Mulberry (made from hand picked berries from a tree outside the restaurant), both crafted by Joe. Served in frosted glasses, they were smooth dessert shooters and are often offered to patrons (21+) as a complimentary treat.

La Margherita may be out of your way, but it's well worth the visit. You get the whole package when you dine here, a complete dining experience equipped with great food, service… and did we mention great food?

Overall RatingDelicious

Cuisine: Italian Pizzeria Restaurant

Ambiance & Décor: Casual & Charming

Prices: Lunch $8 - $15, Dinner $12 - $20

Website: La Margherita

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