When word got out that a traditional Neapolitan pizza place was going to open up in NYC, the food blog-o-sphere went batty. Keste opened to much fanfare, almost directly across the street from John’s, a veritable pizza institution here in New York (it’s also the first pizza place my friend Jeff took me to when I moved here). Recently my friend Jess mentioned to me that she and her husband had been to Keste twice and hadn’t had to wait at all, and I decided the time was right for a visit. How did it stack up to all of the other pizza I’ve tried?

The menu is pretty extensive, but in order to test Keste’s mettle I knew I had to first try the most traditional pizza: the margherita ($12).

My first bite was somewhat underwhelming. I thought it was completely under-seasoned. I almost reached for the salt shaker on the table, but I restrained myself. I’m glad that I did. As I ate more of the pizza, something magical began to happen. The balance of ingredients started to work perfectly as I chewed — the sweetness of the tomatoes, the milkiness of the cheese, the slightly burnt crust… oh yes, it was quite good. Different than I expected, but very good. So good I cleaned my plate. Here’s the evidence:

Keste — 271 Bleecker St


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