Tag Archives: pizzerias

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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