“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
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.
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
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