Friday, August 21, 2009

You can't cook, so order takeout - best pizza

As requested, here's a review of Keste:

Let's get this out of the way first: this place rocks! I've been three times now, and I've noticed three things consistently:

1) The pizza is exceptionally good, consistently.

2) The service is Europe-slow, but accurate.

3) With the closing of Una Pizza Napoletana, this is the best pizza joint in Manhattan. I haven't been to some of the greats in Brooklyn (Grimaldi's, Motorino, Franny's), so I can't compare with those, but this easily betters Lombardi's, Veloce, John's and Joe's.

For those not in the know, a pizza upskirt is a shot of the bottom of the crust; this allows you to see the char left behind by a good oven (or lack thereof, by a bad oven).

On my first visit, I ordered the most exciting sounding pizza to me, the Regina Margherita. I knew I was in good hands when I heard Italian being spoken at the two tables next to me, by very satisfied looking Italian customers.

Regina Margherita - 1st visit

Regina Margherita upskirt - 1st visit

The pizza came out hot, with split cherry tomatoes nestled in between splodges of buffalo mozzarella, with just a bit less basil than I'd like. The crust was immaculate; chewy, light, slightly salty, and the perfect tool for wiping up the little bits of cheese and sauce left behind on my plate. The cheese was wonderful, the tomato sauce bright. Cost: $15

On my second visit, I tried a different strategy. I had heard through that Keste was offering a lunch special for $6 - a smaller Margherita pie that was only to go.

Mini-Margherita - 2nd visit

Mini-Margherita upskirt - 2nd visit

Again, the pizza was wonderful; the wait was slow, but totally worth it. I didn't notice enough of a difference between the buffalo mozzarella and the cow mozzarella to feel like I was missing out by not ordering the more expensive pie. As I was leaving the park at Carmine and Bleecker that I was eating in, a group of tourists came up to me and asked if I had just come from Keste - they had eaten at Murray's cheese, but made sure to save room to try a pie. I heartily recommended it to them.

My third visit, I tried a different pie, the salsiccia (sausage). Service was even slower than my first two visits, but the pizza was equally stunning. The crust stayed consistently delicious across all my visits, and the sausage added a nice meaty flavor to the pie. Cost: $15

Salsiccia - 3rd visit

Salsiccia upskirt - 3rd visit

In the future, I'll probably stick with the mini-Margherita, unless I'm with a group of people - then I'd order two or three pies to share.

Keste Pizza and Vino
271 Bleecker St
New York, NY

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OOh! You have to try Fiorno Italia on Ditmars & 43rd in Astoria! Some of the best in the city!