Keste Pizzeria Review, Manhattan: Top 3 Pizzas in New York
I've noticed a trend in my eating out habits. It seems that if the option is available I will order the lasagna if it's my first time at a restaurant. In addition, there is an above average chance that given the option I will opt to try a new pizza place over any other cuisine. And no I'm not Italian!
I heard about Keste Pizzeria from a friend of my girlfriend's. Apparently it's their favorite place and she and her husband will drive into Manhattan from Westchester just to have this pizza. Well, that seemed like a good enough endorsement for me so when my cousin wanted to meet me for dinner, I suggested we try this Keste place. Of course, my girlfriend was none too pleased that I wasn't going with her first. Oh well.
Knowing that my taste in food doesn't necessarily match that of others, I did a quick check on the internet to get the general consensus. According to 99 reviewers on Google, Keste rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. I was also intrigued by a comment that it wasn't New York style pizza – for me that's actually a bonus as I think a lot of NY pizza is actually crap. Really, really good pizza is not that easy to find in my opinion.
My cursory research also revealed that Keste is the "official location in the USA for Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani (APN) whose mission is to protect and preserve the Neapolitan pizza tradition and promote the art of pizza making." Now I don't know if there's any validity to that claim, but at the very least it's good marketing.
With a location on Bleeker Street, I wasn't expecting too big a restaurant and sure enough Keste was one of those establishments where the tables are set close to each other. It does make for a louder environment, but pizza is casual dinning and I still had enough elbow room so there was no problem for me.
The wait staff were quick to descend upon our table and ask for our drink orders. We were also informed of the day's special pizza. Unfortunately, I couldn't understand half of what our waiter was saying – did I mention I'm not Italian? I did catch that the special pizza was creamy and had fresh mozzarella. It sounded interesting, but we ended up ordering two pies off of the menu.
My cousin ordered the Keste and I ordered the Salume. When they arrived, we swapped halves so we could each try more than one type. Both were great! The crust was thin, but “bready”. The toppings were tasty, but not piled on too heavily. And the fresh mozzarella was awesome. True to their word this was not at all what you'd call New York pizza.
Once we both finished our pizzas we decided we should order one more for good measure – this time we went for the pizza of the day. It was great too! My one quibble is that parts of the outer crust were blackened and I don't like the taste of burnt dough. Fortunately, this only occurred on the edges so none of the yummy pizza goodness was impacted. Overall, I'd have to say Keste is worthy of being added to my list of exceptional pizza establishments.
Three pizzas, two beers, and a diet coke came out to $77 which isn't too bad for the amount of food we had and taking the location into account.