When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore, and Marathon is in love with Driftwood Pizza, Pasta and Subs.
The shop at MM 53 oceanside is under new ownership, and in the last eight months a lot has changed. Reviewers online have been raving about the friendly customer service, fresh ingredients and prompt deliveries — all of which are especially appreciated in the laidback Florida Keys.
Manager Tony Piscetello is humble about the number of times his name is mentioned in the Facebook reviews. He gives a sly smile, and explains with modesty all of the changes he made from the start when hired in March.
“Our cheese is different now. We use the highest quality cheese on the market,” he said, adding it’s made with buffalo milk. “On our large pizzas, we have about a pound of cheese on them. It gets expensive.”
And the sauce? Completely different, Piscetello said.
“Everything is made in house now, and the dough is a little different from what it used to be, flour-wise,” he said.
Dough is made fresh every morning, and there could be changes to the recipe in the coming months.
Piscetello, a Connecticut native, is going to attempt to perfect his recipe and use it at Driftwood, but there are several factors that make a Florida pizza taste different than a Connecticut pizza, even if the recipe is the same.
Is it the humidity or the salty air? Most pizza connoisseurs agree it’s a combination, but most likely, it’s what’s in the water.
“Before I left Connecticut I mastered my dough recipe, so I’m going to try it next week,” he said. “If it works, it works, and if the dough acts like I want it to act, I’m going to just do it and we will go with the flow, if that makes sense.”
Piscetello is making improvements everywhere he can. He has expanded the menu, changed the logo, made changes inside the restaurant and wants to buy new ovens. He wants to offer other types of pizza too, like thin crust, pan-style and deep dish.
“We truly will be the best pizza place. It’s our goal,” he said. “It’s great because we’ve already improved. We’ve made huge strides.”
Marathon residents think so too. They voted Driftwood the No. 1 pizza in Marathon at the Weekly’s Best of Marathon awards. The most popular pizza at the moment is the Driftwood Special: cheese, pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, onion, green peppers and bacon.
“But people are getting into the different ones we’ve added. They’re slowly finding out what’s good,” Piscetello said.
He thinks the Roma pizza is the menu’s hidden gem. It has a ricotta base, pepperoni, onions and green peppers.
“It’s a really good pie,” he said.
Driftwood is becoming more involved in the community through donations to special events and gaining more of a presence.
“We want people to know we’re here,” Piscetello said. “We’re going to do whatever it takes and you never know what we’re going to become in the future.”
Driftwood Pizza is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and can be reached at 305-742-8770. Delivery is available from Marathon to Grassy Key and even Duck Key.
Driftwood is always looking for quality employees as well, Piscetello said.