I never really noticed how many pizza places there are on Bleeker, until I went to review John's Pizzeria (an institution here in New York!), Keste Pizza and Vino and Pizza Roma! This post is about our trip to these pizza joints (not the same day...)!
Keste Pizza and Vino:
The great thing with the blog is that now, when people eat in great places, they will send me some information or give me a business card from the place, suggesting me to go. That is how I heard about Keste Pizza & Vino: one of my co-workers, Richard, recommended it. As I went down to my long list of places to try and was in the mood for pizza, I proposed Jodi to go there.
It was a Saturday and the place was not that busy. I liked the decor and the atmosphere that gave a certain authenticity to the place. Their menu was mouth watering and, as we do most of the time, we already checked it before coming and knew exactly what we would order! In fact, each time we go to a pizza place we look for two items: the homemade burrata and the four cheese pizza! And Keste had both of them!!!
So we started off with the homemade burrata.
It was a big portion and was served with half a tomato, a slice of bread and some prosciutto. It was really good, although the mozzarella shell could have been a bit thinner. It also missed a bit of olive oil and the dish could have been elevated with some balsamic vinegar that would have enhanced the delicate taste of the cream.
Then came the four cheese pizza!
It looked very appetizing with its burnt edges. The cheeses were mozzarella, grand cru (I guess pecorino), caciocavallo and parmigiano reggiano. They also put on top some fresh basil leaves and some olive oil.
The crust was delicious with all these blobs at the edges and a bit of a burnt taste here and there. Unfortunately, it lost its crispiness because there was too much olive oil that made it a bit soggy.
But overall, it was a delicious pizza that would satisfy any cheese lover! They were really generous with the amount of cheese too! Fantastic!
It was definitely a great lunch at Keste that is, by the way, the official location for The APN (Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani) whose mission is to protect and preserve the Neapolitan pizza tradition and promote the art of pizza making. I will definitely have to go back to try some of the other pizzas they offer on their menu!
Walking around Bleeker while waiting for Keste Pizza and Vino to open, I eyed at John's pizza and decided to go there for my next Pizzeria review. This place has been around for quite some time: opened in 1929 by John Sasso, it looks as if it was suspended in time!
We went early because there is always a line and they sat us at one of these tight booths, overlooking the busy kitchen (the coal oven was not visible from there)!
Sitting there, you cannot miss the walls, full of carved graffiti:
Their menu is simple: pizza, a few pasta dishes and meatballs: no way you can get overwhelmed by a large choice, but for sure, you would want to order a bit of everything! Yes, this is the type of restaurant that smells authentic and where you wish there was a tasting menu!
We decided to go simple and order a 14 inch pizza (6 slices) with mushrooms:
The pizza was delicious: the crust, a bit burnt on the edges, was perfectly crispy!
The pizza sauce was very good with just enough cheese, but not enough mushrooms (at $3 a topping, they could have put more!).
It was a good pizza, but I remain convinced that San Matteo Pizza on the Upper East Side is the best!!!
The last pizza place we tried on Bleeker (last but not least for sure!) was Pizza Roma, a small joint, steps away from Keste and John's pizzeria! We passed by few times and could not miss the delicious slices of pizza at the window! So here we are! We can either order pizza or some other food, but the choice for us was fairly quick!
The way it works is that you pick what pizza you want and they will slice it for you, eat it and serve at one of the few tables near the entrance.
We decided to go for the mushroom pizza and the Cipola Y Gorgonzola (onions and gorgonzola) pizza:
as well as the plain pizza and Tricolore (Basil pesto and mozzarella di buffala):
The mushroom pizza was good except that the mushrooms were mushy. The best of all was the onion and gorgonzola one, but unfortunately there was not enough cheese! The plain was good but the pizza sauce tasted like any can you can buy...
The slice with the basil pesto and mozzarella di Buffala looked very appetizing, but the pesto was so overpowering...
So, the slices were not that great and it was expensive: more than $26 for all of this with a coke...Definitely, they cannot measure up to Keste or John's Pizza!
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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!