New York brims with cocktail speakeasies, but clandestine pizza joints are harder to come by in our fair city. On the second floor of a Little Italy building, pizzaiola Salvatore Olivella (L’Asso, No. 28) fires up the ovens for his old-school pies. The Naples native follows the strict D.O.C. code of pizza-making: Dough is formed with San Felice flour, the sauce with San Marzano tomatoes, and cheese is fior di latte (cow’s-milk mozzarella). Modern riffs include a pie topped with Gorgonzola, Parmigiano, pear, walnuts and honey, and a round with prosciutto di cotto, mushrooms, basil and white truffle oil. Snag an Italian beer (a dry, hoppy Birra del Borgo Re Ale; a peppercorn-spiced Almond '22 Pink IPA) and post up near the open kitchen to see Olivella sling his charred creations from the colorfully tiled 1,000-degree oven.
180 Hester St
|Cross street:||at Mulberry St|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Wed, Sun 11am–midnight; Thu–Sat 11am–4am|
|Transport:||Subway: J, Z, N, Q, R, 6 to Canal St|
|Price:||Average entrée: $18. AmEx, Disc, MC, V|