Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Keste - Review

Keste Pizza and Vino - Dude Grade: A-
271 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10014-4102
Phone: (212) 243-1500

I've been wanting to go here for ages, but the lines are always way too long - about 30mins to an hour. Too long especially after my third or fourth beer at Blind Tiger. On this past Tuesday, me and Mr. Risotto decided to check it out as miraculously the line was only 15mins at 9pm. 1000% worth the wait and definitely my favorite pizza in Manhattan.

Our Menu

Margherita ***
tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, extra virgin olive oil
The beauty of Italian food is the simplicity - a few ingredients that are cooked perfectly and you end up with something magical. This pizza is the embodiment of that mentality - a few ingredients that are a WTF moment when combined together. Crust was actually a tad thick - not paper thin like Pepe's, but no matter since the flavor is friggin off the chain good. The tomatoes were amazingly sweet, the cheese was perfectly melted, and the shocker was the basil that permeated the whole pizza. No idea if they rubbed the basil on the dough first, but it was amazing.

Mast'Nicola **
lardo, pecorino romano, basil

Same phenomenal crust, but this time with lardo aka pig fatty goodness. The only problem I found with this was it was tad salty, but no matter - still a great pizza.

Rating System
--- What the F - in a bad way | (no stars - poor to average) | * Good | ** Great | *** What the F – in a good way

Overall Restaurant Experience
  • Food (A) - Best pizza in NYC. Table wine they served brought me back to Rome - no fuss wine that's perfect with the pizza.
  • Service (B) – Servers were real cool and food came out relatively quick..
  • Atmosphere (B) – Cozy atmosphere with lots of brick and yellow walls. We got there at 9 on a Tuesday and still had to wait 15 minutes. Thursday-Saturday you should just forget it since the wait will be at least 30 mins-an hour. Crowd was mainly groups of 2-4 although there were some couples there. Average age was probably mid 40's that day, so we brought the average age down.
  • Price (B) - $10 for probably an 8" pie, which is generally pricey for your local pizza joint but this is a serious pie so totally worth it.
Closing Comments
Best pizza in Manhattan, but I think Pepe's and L&B Spumoni still takes the cake for me in terms of happiness. Still, I will definitely come back and check out the other pies.

Note - some people on menupage are complaining about the pie being real soggy, but we did not experience this at all. However, I'm not a big fan of a ton of toppings on my pie any way, so I probably wouldn't order something that could be soggy any way.

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