Kesté Pizza & Vino
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If anyone can claim to be an expert on Neapolitan pizza, it’s Keste’s Roberto Caporuscio: As president of the U.S. branch of the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani, he’s top dog for the training and certification of pizzaioli (a former dairy farmer and mozzarella maker, he’s also intimately familiar with that most essential cheese). In addition to all the hallmarks of the Neapolitan product—San Marzano tomatoes, double zero flour, a scorching-hot wood-burning oven—Caporuscio uses a slow-speed mixer to work his dough. Then, he gently stretches it into a round with his hands, since it’s far too soft for tossing. The resulting crust is tender yet resilient, puffed with warm pockets of steaming airs. All over the golden surface is an even spotting of tiny black blisters, just enough to deliver that brick-oven sear, but not so much that any single bite tastes burnt. Whatever you put on it, from the classic Margherita toppings to butternut squash puree with smoked mozzarella, it’s as close to the platonic ideal as we’ve found.
271 Bleecker St
|Cross street:||between Cornelia and Jones Sts|
|Transport:||Subway: 1 to Christopher St–Sheridan Sq|
|Price:||Average pizza: $12. AmEx, MC, V|
|Opening hours:||Daily noon–midnight|
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