Joined: 19 Jun 2006
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
|Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:36 am Post subject: More from Gene
7 Carmine St @ Bleeker St.NYC
Joe's advertises itself as 'The True Street Pizza'; and IME it is! Again, I walked into the place just as the first regular pizzas of the day were coming out of their ovens. I ordered 2 slices of the Regular Pizza right on the spot without reheating. I ate the first one plain as ser ed, and added some red pepper and oregano to my second slice and both were delicious to me. True NYC style crisp crust yet not cracker crust, nice tasting sauce not too sweet, but fresh tasting. Very good crispness to the bite of the slice yet foldable if one chooses to fold their slice. Sauce to cheese ratio very good!
Due to time constraints, and pizza's yet to be eaten; I had to leave after that tasting and could not wait for the Sicilian Pie to come out of the oven. Based on their Regular Pizza being Very Good/Excellent rating up there with Totonna's style; I will go back to try some of their other pizza ASAP. If you can get here try the pizza it's worth trip IME!
298 Bleecker St NYC
While waiting for John's Pizza and Keste to open I had walked to the Corner of Bleecker St and saw 'ZPizza' across the street on the corner. Having heard 'something' about 'ZPizza' a few months ago (though I could not recall what) I crossed the road and went in. As at the last pizzerias they were just begining their day and pulling pizzas out of the oven. I ordered a slice of their 'Napoli' Whole Wheat crust that had the 'Roasted Garlic sauce, Fresh Tomatoes, Fresh Basil,Parmesan and Mozzerella' on it. RARELY do I come across a Whole Wheat crust worth raving about, and I have tried them at every place that has offered them. Zizza knows what they are doing with their Whole Wheat Crust! It is hands down the BEST Whole Wheat Crust I have tried in 45 years! The toppings on the 'Napoli' worked very well to offset the sometimes 'nutty' flavor of the Whole Wheat Crust. The friend with me also had the same impression of this pizza as she remarked, "she would order it again". Coming from a New Yorker who grew up only blocks from Totonno's on Coney Island in Brooklyn that is indeed high praise for a Whole Wheat Crust! Definitely worth a reeat visit to try some of their other pizzas and another slice of Napoli pizza!
Bleecker St NYC
I had made it my 'destination pizza place' on this trip in to NYC. As is my custom I like to be there when a place opens for the day to see how the place looks before it gets busy. I met Mr Roberto Caprusioti, an owner and Pizzaiolo of Keste's, as he was dashing out to drop something off down the block. He quickly returned after I had been seated along with my friend at the head table for 2 closest to the Pizza making station. Roberto was kind enough to spend a few minutes with me discussing his history with Pizza and Places he'd opened in the past, Pittsburgh, A Mano, and now Keste's. I settled in as his efficent wait staff served us a carafe of fresh water. I took a minute to look over the menu, and then decided to ask if there was a special pie of the day? Of course there was! I suspected that after speaking with Roberto whatever he deemed 'special' would be rightly so, and so I indulged the waiter and ordered the 'Bufaluta Pizza'. Keste's got busy within MINUTES of opening their doors, and we were glad to get a table up near the make counter. As I watched Roberto and his 2 flanking Pizzaiolo's work the oven, and make the Pies, I was enamored with the way the dough was worked, sauced, dressed, and peeled to the oven. It was definitely a show worth the price of admission IME.
The Pizza arrived at our table within 20 minutes of ordering, amazing seeing as how the place was full, and orders were being sent to the counter by the minute it seemed. What a beautiful looking pie, with olive oil glistening on the Buffala mozzeralla, the abundance of cherry tomatoes and fresh basil evenly spread across the crust. We dove into the pizza which is cut into 4 large slices if a small pie. This is THE Pizza I remembered from my trip to Naples, Italy only 10 years ago! The crust is light and fluffy/bubbly, soft and foldable like a wrap/lavash style bread would be around the great ingredients. It was topped with deliciously fresh, buttery, Bufalla Mozzerella that kept me wanting another bite. It was so good I wanted to lick my plate before the waiter carried it off!
I decided I could manage to eat another pizza, and asked the waiter for another recomendation, and was told the 'Prosicutto, Arugala, Mozzerella Pie is highly regarded. I ordered it and it came in 10 minutes. In the mean time, at the table behind us were 3 guys out for pizza, one of whom was a pizza loving type who had brought his friends here. I suggested they try the 'Bufalata Pizza special' which we had just eaten. I told them if they did'nt like it I would pay for it, so they ordered it and 2 others. In the meantime our second pizza arrived and it was abundantly topped with Arugula, Prosicutto, and mozzerella topped with oilve oil. It too was a very worthwhile Pizza to be dining on; and reminded me of why I ordered Pizza along with salads and vegetables when dining in Naples!
All in all a trip to Keste's is the begining of discovering Pizza in the Style of Naples IME! This is the KEY to going to Keste's, one cannot bring a desire for NYC Style Crust with them, this is a TOTALLY different crust in a good way! The prices are fair for the service and quality in the pies served IME. This is a place for wine, pizza, and friends to experience. It's not a 'NYC street walking slice of Pizza', but a great pizza in it's own right. It's busy from when the doors open, so line up early if you are in a hurry to catch a show or have a planned night out. My choice is to go between Noon and 3pm and relax and enjoy the experience with no rushing.
I intend to go into NYC once a week when possible and hit up izza places as well as some other eateries. Hard to eat my way through more than 2 pizzas alone, which is why i like to hit up slice places! I'll try to gather up business cards, and menus as I go for you, along with photos as evidence I've actually eaten there; as opposed to some online reviews I've read which seem like the reviewers have not eaten at the places reviewed.
Photos below, hope your flight was easy on the way home,
"Pizza on Earth...Good Will to All!"