Kesté – New York, NY

Pizzeria New York City

In Naples, Kesté means "This is it," but can this pizza match the motherland?

I went to Kesté today. It’s a fine looking small narrow restaurant with a gleaming (that’s the only way to describe it) brand new brick pizza oven sporting the Neapolitan seal on the top. The fire was glowing merrily, but no Pizzaiolo was in sight. There were only two other diners (this was at 12 noon). More came in as we sat there and by the time we left, it was about 1/3 full. I had the Margherita and my friend Gary had the Sausage. The Pizzaiolo came from somewhere downstairs to make it, he didn’t seem to stay put. The cooking area was deserted when I wandered back and looked in the oven and saw the ingredients arrayed on a glass shelf. It’s all very elegant. The pizza, which came quickly, looked and tasted quite good, but hardly special, and was not even close to the level of Una Pizza Napoletana. It wasn’t even as good as the fine Neapolitan style pizza joint in Washington, D.C., 2Amys. Maybe it was the lack of a supervising Pizzaiolo. But the whole enterprise seemed indifferent to what they were doing. Eventually we want to try Gonzo and Co. But it would take a phenomenal creation to equal Una Pizza Napoletana, which is extraordinary. Gary and I decided that the best pizza joint on Bleecker Street remained the venerable coal oven joint John’s, right across from Kesté.

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