Butternut-squash cream, smoked mozzarella and artichoke pizza
RECOMMENDED: See more of the best pizza in NYC
271 Bleecker St between Cornelia and Jones Sts (212-243-1500)
If anyone can claim to be an expert on Neapolitan pizza, it’s Kesté’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, doppio zero flour, 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.
“In America now, everyone focuses on the dough, but I don’t eat dough, I eat pizza,” says Caporuscio. That may be true, but man, does he get it right. Puffed with warm pockets of steaming air, it’s tender yet resilient, stretching ever so slightly as you tear it with your hands. 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.
Chateau le Woof
“One macchiato, one beef treat.” That might be a typical order at Chateau le Woof, an Astoria cafe offering La Colombe coffee for humans and treats, toys and accessories for their canine companions. During one of their doggy-friendly happy hours, you might see a poodle and a French bulldog frolicking on the floor while their owners sip lattes nearby. Or, your order of an espresso might come with a complimentary sample of organic, gluten-free kibble for your furry friend. It’s the only place in the city you can sip fresh java and shop for your pooch at the same time. One of their cappuccinos and a rawhide might be just you and Fido need after a ruff day.
Venue says: “New York City’s very first Pet Market & Café. Spring is in the air, come try our new spring coffee and iced tea infused menu!”