Did Luzzo’s meet its match ? Well maybe: I always considered Luzzo’s as the best pizza in the city, Neapolitan I mean. And the Luzzo’s family of restaurants growing is always exciting. I discovered their new venture in Long Island City few weeks ago, not realizing that few blocks from there sits another Neapolitan pizzeria, Levante. We found it as our first dining plan fell through and this is the kind of find that is very fortunate, the food being delicious there.
It was a Thursday evening and we did not have a reservation. Fortunately we got a table, because few minutes later, the restaurant is was packed. And we were right next to the back, where their wood fire oven is, a sight that is always mesmerizing for me: looking at the pizza cooking there, being turned so it would cook evenly and seeing the charred bubbles on the dough form. If I remember, for the dough, they make a special blend of flour that they let rise for more than 3 days. Pizza is a must have at Levante; we tried their 4 cheese or Quattro Formaggio, made with mozzarella, parmigiano, ricotta and Gorgonzola. When it came to the table, it looked beautiful and the first bite was divine: the crust was slightly crunchy, with a nice char, and there was lots of cheese.
We also tried their arancini that were made with 4 cheeses. I also recommend this if you love cheese: these little crispy cheesy balls are fantastic and very addictive.
Then, I could not not order their octopus (polio), that was served with a polenta cake. That octopus was superb, perfectly cooked.
With that, I got a classic Italian cocktail, an Aperol Spritz.
Of course, we did not leave without trying their dessert and chose the Nutella zeppole. As jodi does not like Nutella, they graciously agreed to make 2 with Nutella and 2 without, adding 1 zeppole to their usual serving of 3. Shaped like hearts and thinner than the version you usually get, they were delicious and had lots of Nutella in it. I mean, a lot!
So, overall, the meal at Levante was very, very good and I would put it second to Luzzo’s on my list of best Neapolitan pizza places. I definitely recommend it and would for sure go back.
Enjoy (I did)!
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Levante - 26-21 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101