Kesté Pizza & Vino
My cousin Massimo from Catania (Sicily) was here a couple of years ago for a photo exhibit opening, and while I hesitant to bring him to Italian restaurants thinking to impress him, something in the back of my mind told me that would just be rude. He knows what Italian food is and tastes like, and how it actually SHOULD taste like, so why would I try to impress him with a place here in the USA that has good, authentic Italian food? So, I thought to take him and his wife to other places. He was in the mood to explore, but his wife, not so much. She had a hard time with it, so back to something familiar and what he called “The best you can get outside of Italy”.
Kesté Pizza & Vinao In the heart of Greenwich Village any pizza fan can indulge in an extensive variety of over 40 traditional and creative wood-ﬁred Neapolitan style pies made from the ﬁnest ingredients. They break the menu down to White, Red, Vegan and even gluten free pizzas as well.
Now, I could not come here an try just one pizza, and they don’t serve slices, so I had to order one traditional and one fancy, both were delicious and perfect. Perfect amount of toppings, cheese and sauce. No, its not like the place you will find down the street or down the block, but this is how they would make it in Italy. Fresh, not a lot of any one single ingredient, but a fine, thin balance of all. And, you get it fast. My friend was shocked how fast it came. But it is cooked in a brick oven, and anyone knows that an oven that is that hot can cook pizza in less than 10-15 minutes.
The crust is luscious just on its charred dough crust alone. That fine brick-fired taste is heaven. Of course, the sauce is important, but also just delivery for the condiments like fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil and cherry tomatoes for a kick. The Funhghi Pizza of mushrooms was also excellent.
Now, I have to say, that this might not be the very best pizza in the world or even New York, it was certainly the most authentic Italian pizza outside of Italy. Being American, I am spoiled, pizza here has proliferated, but if you want to go back to the old country this is where you want to go for pizza.
AND… They serve wine, a modest selection but perfect for dining on this venue of cuisine! But just be careful, a glass of wine can cost almost as much as a pizza. Its not the restaurant’s fault, they are forced to pay full price for spirits just as you would on the street, plus they have to store them at temperature control, so its a convenience the customer needs to pay for. Even still, I am happy to pay $10 for a glass of good wine then pay twice as much down the street for which I can only drink half of. So, its a nice option.
Keste Pizza & Vino (212-243-1500)
271 Bleecker Street New York NY