Category Archives: Pizza

Upper West Side: Two Boots Pizza Plans Soft Opening Next Week at New Broadway and 96th Street Location

Two Boots Pizza is opening soon on Broadway between 95th and 96th streets. Photo: Laura B. Weiss

Food and Things has learned that Two Boots Pizza, which is erecting a storefront on Broadway between 95th and 96th Street, is planning a soft opening for next week. The official open is slated for some time in August, according to a company spokesperson. Two Boots already sells its well regarded slices in midtown and in the East and West Village.

As is the case with other Two Boots locations, there will be a special slice designed just for the neighborhood.

Pizza topped with lox and cream cheese anyone?

Meanwhile, I’m sure those construction workers toiling away on the never-to-be-finished 96th Street subway station will flock to the new pizza palace in droves.

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Pizza Find: Long Island Pie is Tops

pizza-slice

It’s possible to stumble on great pizza in the most unexpected places. Take Mattituck on Long Island’s North Fork where we lucked into The Sicilian and its outstanding pies.

Mattituck is situated in the middle of Long Island’s North Fork. Abundant vineyards? Check.  Farmstands brimming with fresh-pick produce? Check. The shimmering waters of the Peconic? Check.

But great pizza?

With its substantial population of Italian Americans, Long Island is prime pizza territory. But the pizza at The Sicilian, a bare bones parlor in an unassuming strip mall, is nothing short of terrific.

Driving back to the city, we stopped at the somewhat dingy pizzeria because it seemed like the only place around to grab a bite to eat. Once inside, we realized we had discovered a hidden gem.

The pizza maker, who barely speaks English, told us he hails from Palermo, Sicily and has been making pies for 41 years. On the wall, toward the back of the place, are vintage black and white photos of the old country, featuring the pizza maker with friends and family.

Authentic?  No doubt.

There was a tomato, onion, basil and mozzarella pie in the oven, so we ordered slices, figuring it would be fresh. One bite and we knew we had struck pizza pay dirt. The crust was crispy, the toppings, which included fresh-picked local tomatoes and basil, were impeccably fresh.

“They’re from his garden,” one of the countermen said, pointing to the pizza maker who was shoving another pie in the oven.

I can’t vouch for the pies lined up on the warming tray. “They’ve been sitting here 45 minutes,” the counterman said, shrugging when I asked him if they were as good as the heavenly pizza we had just wolfed down.

So if you’re on the North Fork for the weekend, stop by The Sicilian, where you can also order pasta, heroes, and other standard Italian-American fare.

The Sicilian
55 Route 48 (North Road)
Mattituck, NY  11952
631 298 1947

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Pizza: Keste in the Village for Neopolitan Pizza

“How do you like the pizza?” asked the hot Italian guy sitting next to me after we had devoured our luscious pie at Keste, the Neopolitan pizza joint in the Village. When I told

Photo: By roboppy via flickr.

Photo: By roboppy via flickr.

him I thought the topping was delicious,  but objected to the soggy crust, he explained that Keste’s crust is prepared just the way they do it in Naples.

“We love this place,” he said as he and his girlfriend tucked into a classic Margherita pie.

Keste’s pizza, it’s true, is very different from the classic NY pie, like the one, for example, dished up at Sal and Carmines on the Upper West Side. There is the crust issue. But if you can get used to that, Keste’s toppings are divine, at least on the one pizza we tried. We ordered Salsiccia E Friarielli, a pie made with Italian sausages, Italian rapini, imported smoked mozzarella, and extra virgin olive oil. Rich and incredibly savory, this was some of the best pizza toppings I’ve ever tasted.

Photo: By roboppy via flickr.

Photo: By roboppy via flickr.

Authenticity is what Keste is all about. The cramped pizzeria is overseen by Rosaio Procino and his partner Roberto Caporuscio. The latter is the president of the APN (Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani) whose mission, says Keste’s web site, is “to protect and preserve the Neapolitan pizza tradition and promote the art of pizza making.” To learn more about what goes into a Neopolitan pizza, read Slice’s post on pizza making at Keste.

If you go to Keste while the weather is still summery, wear the coolest clothes you own. The night we were there, the small dining room was as hot as the blazing pizza oven. If there was AC, it was hard to tell. (Also, on a steamy night, avoid the restroom which is next to the tiny kitchen; sweat was dripping off my face by the time I got back to my table.)

Be prepared for a mob if you go any later than 6:30. Still, Keste turns over the tables quickly, and once inside, the service is quick and courteous.

Prices range from $9 to $18 for a pie. There’s also a few salads and dessert if you still have room after finishing off your satisfying and filling pizza.

Keste Pizzeria
271 Bleecker St.
New York, NY

HOURS :

MONDAY – THURSDAY : 12PM to 3:30PM and 5PM to 11PM

FRIDAY – SATURDAY : 12PM to 3:30PM and 5PM to 11PM

SUNDAY : 12PM to 3:30PM and 3:30 to 10PM

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Pizza Man: A Sad Night at Sal and Carmine’s

Last night, we walked up to Sal and Carmine’s to get a pizza.The gloomy weather matched Carmine’s mood. It was so sad to see the pizza-box-and-sal-and-carmines-001legendary pizza man, minus longtime partner Sal, standing all by himself in his pizza joint, gazing mournfully out the shop’s window fronting Broadway.

Asked about the circumstances surrounding Sal’s death in May, Carmine said, “the painkillers killed him.” According to Carmine, Sal went to the ER seeking relief from a bout of severe back pain. He was given pain medication. Soon, his kidneys shut down. Then, “he had a heart attack,” Carmine said, his voice registering barely above a whisper.

We walked home with our pizza, our mood’s dampened from this impromptu condolence call.

Sal and Carmine’s

2671 Broadway
New York, NY
212 663 7651
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Sal the Pizza Maker of Sal and Carmine’s Dies

Ed Levine of Serious Eats writes a loving tribute to pizza maker Sal Malanga, who died recently.  As Levine points out, Sal was one of New York’s great pizza men.

Sal’s legacy will live on, says Levine:

I hailed a cab to take my pizza home. My son, Will, was watching the Mets-Yankees game. We each put a slice on a plate and took a bite. ‘This is such good pizza,’ Will said. I had to agree. So satisfying, so seriously delicious, and so Sal. Sal would have pizza-slicebeen proud.

Luciano (Sal’s grandson), along with Carmine, are doing everything Sal’s way, the right way, the only way.

And a charming reminiscence from the very talented playwright, Charlie Schulman:

Very sad news. Sal and Carmine’s was a staple of my diet for over ten years when I lived a block away from their place and was a young, starving writer. (Now I’m middle-aged and still hungry) Sometimes I would wait for Sal to open up the store at lunchtime. Or get the last slice of the night. They only made pizza. Sporadic delivery. A true “brother… Read More and brother” shop. Carmine was the “character” of the two. Sal took care of the business side. This was REAL, no frills, no foo-foo gourmet, New York pizza. Despite rising rents, they refused to buy lesser quality Mozzarella. Sometimes Carmine would hide the oregano and napkins to to save $. By far the best real pizza on the upper west side. For a long time above 96 street was a “no man’s land” that wasn’t even considered part of the Upper West Side. I rank it up there with Mimi’s Pizza on the Upper East Side. Another family pizza place that has been inherited and now run by Mimi’s son Steve. Long live “Sal And Carmines!”

Sal and Carmine’s
Broadway at 101st Street
New York, NY
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