Keste Pizza & Vino

23 03 2010

Last night we went to Keste Pizza & Vino for the second time. It is so tasty, and I think worth the hype. It keeps getting voted high up on NYC pizza ratings, and to me, these rating are all about the crust. The Neopolitan style pizza has a really light, fluffy crust that is the result of super high oven temps.

One cool thing about Keste is that it is the official USA location for APN (Associazione Pizzaluloli Napoletani), which is an organization that attempts to preserve and promote the tradition and art of making Neopolitan style pizza. There are strict guidelines that must be followed to be an APN member which include:

1. The dough must be made only with flour, natural yeast/brewers yeast, salt and water

2. Dough must be kneaded by hand or mixers that don’t cause it to overheat

3. Dough must be shaped and punched by hand

4. Only wood burning, bell-shaped brick overs are permitted.

5. Pizzas must be cooked directly on the oven’s surface (often made of volcanic stone)

6. Temps must reach 750-800 degrees (which often takes hours before the pizza hits the oven)

The results of all these rules is a seriously yummy, totally different kind of pizza that anyone can make at home (unless, of course you have an oven that will reach 800 degrees- if so, lucky you)!

There is usually a wait to get into Keste during prime dinner times, but it is definitely worth it. Last night, we got there at around 8:15, and had to wait about 20 minutes for a table of 4. Also, they don’t take reservations.

The only vegan pizzas are the Marinara (which I have yet to try), which costs $9.00, and my fav, the  Vegetariana ($16.00), which features tomatoes, eggplant, mushrooms, artichoke, zucchini and olive oil. This one is great because it comes cheese-free! There are plenty of vegetarian pies as well.

Here’s my pizza:

Robbie had the Pizza del Papa, which has a butternut squash cream, artichoke, red and yellow peppers, and mozzarella- unfortunately NOT vegan at all, but so easy to fake this one at home. We’ve recreated it multiple times, and he’s said (besides the crust), that it tastes pretty much the same. It is great to make when butternut squashes are abundant at the green market. To make the cream sauce, we just baked the squash, and pureed it in a food processor with some soy creamer and sauteed onions, garlic, pepper and salt to taste. Add cream to create desired consistency.

Here’s our Keste inspired home version of their Pizza del Papa, topped with Daiya and Follow Your Heart:

Also, a while ago we hit up Roberta’s in Bushwick. It was great as well and Neopolitan in style. Here’s my Rosso pizza, topped with mushrooms and onion. Very tasty pizza, in a really cool space.

We still have to hit up Motorino, Saraghina, and Co.