I hate people who are not serious about their meals. -- Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Keste Pizzeria

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Eating pizza like this, you never leave the crust. It is a sin.

 This is where real magic happens. Harry Potter ain't got shit on this Oven

One of my favorite television characters is from the old and still great Dave Chappelle Show where he has a character called Tyrone Biggums, who is a crackhead. He would do ridiculous things like through a 80,000 dollar crack party and did crazy stuff and always said, “I want the crack baby”! I laugh because he has the crackhead shakes, rubbing his gums, and doing anything for crack. Naively, I sit back and laugh, because I could never stoop to this level over something.
I realize I am Tyrone Biggums when I am walking down Bleecker on a cold Saturday night. I have the same signs when I am craving a Neapolitan pizza. I thinking about eating it, salivate like a Pavlovan dog, maybe I even get the shakes too but I can not help it. I even want to break into a car and steal the radio because I know a radio is at least worth a pie or 2. No regular slice can compare to a steaming, lightly charred, chewy pie with creamy mozzarella with specks of bright red tomatoes. It is like when they remade Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, you can not compare to the original and it is not the same.
 Thankfully, unlike a crackhead, I have dignity and assets and did not need to sell stolen car radios or my body to get Neapolitan pizza. New York now has multiple places where I can get my fix but one of the standbys and the best Neapolitan pizza places is Keste Pizza. When it is a cold day, like frozen runny nose cold and people are waiting outside at 6pm on Bleecker Street, this place is worth going to. Especially on Bleecker Street and the surrounding area, it is like trying to find a Hippie at Burning Man: you do not have to look far to find one.

Pizza Pronz after the jump

Opening in just 2009, Keste is consistently ranked as one of the best pizzas to get in New York and one of the top authorities on Neapolitan style pizza. This is the kind of pizza that has a following, like we all wear black high top Nike shoe following. Like I will hurt you if you strongly disagree with me following. The place is not big at all and going with just a party of four you take up at least a good amount of space in the restaurant. So if you are claustrophobic, get it to go or bring a brown bag to hyperventilate in.

 The Keste- prosciutto and arugula
I went with my solid stand by which is the prosciutto and arugula or called the Keste. Salty prosciutto and slightly bitter arugula is a combination that I can never get of and can eat for days on end (I am not exaggerating; I have done that before spring semester of college senior year). The pie came out steaming hot and a good shred of Reggiano on it. The dough gets an overnight rise which gave it that quintessential acidity and perfect chew to the crust.

The upskirt shot, only upskirt shot that you won't get slapped

Of course like a car, you have to check under the hood or the pizza and the pizza up skirt. You have to have that nice char that gives it that perfectly nice smoky flavor to the pie.

 Salsiccia e Friarielli

The other pies that we had was the Salsiccia e Friarielli which translates to Italian rapini and sausage, with smoked mozzarella finished with extra virgin olive oil (I refuse to call it EVOO, cough, Rachel Ray, cough). This was a white pie, meaning there were no tomatoes but this did not need any and anymore toppings to this would have completely compromised structural integrity. This was a meaty pie with the crumbled sausage and mozzarella and would give the impression that this would be heavy, but it was deceptively balanced that eating it, you felt satisfied and content....and not like you ate an engine block. The smoked mozzarella gives the pie an extra layer of depth and replaces the lack of tomatoes and gives it an extra boost, similar to the experience of getting the Mushroom in Super Mario Bros. The bitterness of the rapini cut the richness of the pie, equalizing the overall taste.

 Pizza Del Pappa- colorful and healthy...well not really healthy, but tasty

The other pie was the Pizza Del Pappa: butternut squash cream, smoked mozzarella, artichokes and red and yellow peppers. This was the most colorful of all the pies and looked the lightest. Yet looks are deceiving and the smoked mozzarella played a distinct role in the pie filling in that void that is missing in a meatless pie and giving that "unami" factor (hate using the word unami because I feel like a pretentious douche, but it is true). Technically a white pie because it lacked tomatoes but the butternut squash cream was smooth and played a great understudy to the tomatoes and synchronized perfectly with the peppers and artichokes.

For any Neapolitan or pizza aficionado this is a go to spot. The pies lean to the smaller size so ordering one should not be any problem for a person to polish off but with an extensive menu, well extensive for Neapolitan style pizza place it is better to go with more so you can try all their delicious pies and satisfy any Neapolitan pizza craving. 

Keste Pizzeria
271 Bleecker Street
NY 10014
(warning: website has dumb sound effects)

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