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Don Antonio (Hells Kitchen)

February 16, 2018


Without a doubt, Don Antonio is one of the best pizzerias in all of New York City, and could you really expect anything less from the master Roberto Caporuscio, the owner of Kesté? Don Antonio is a joint business venture between Roberto  and his mentor, Antonio Starita. Starita is a master in his own right. He is the 3rd generation owner of Naples’  oldest and most revered pizzeria, Pizzeria Starita a Materdei. Suffice to say, our expectations were high.


I was accompanied by my friend and New Jersey’s own Romeo Duran and his girlfriend Hanna on that cold rainy New York afternoon. Our eyes were bulging and excitement hit us as soon as we began our walk towards our table and could see the pizzas of other patrons on the way. Fresh ingredients and rich colors were in abundance on every pie we came across. My companions asked what I would recommend and I told them it doesn’t matter because, this is Kesté’s sister restaurant, which is one of my favorite spots in all of New York. Whatever we order, is going to be awesome. Hanna started things off with a cocktail. It was Saturday, so treat yo self girl. After scanning the menu of over 60 pizzas, we ordered the Butcher (which I get regularly at Kesté, the Roberto (homemade burrata, grape tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil), and the Materdie (one of their specialty pizzas that’s fried and stuffed with fresh ricotta and Italian salami).


If there’s one thing you can depend on when having a pizza made by Mr. Caporuscio, it’s consistency with the dough. It’s soft enough to fold and light enough so that you don’t feel bogged down after your meal. This airy dough is packed with delicious flavor and a solid foundation for these amazing pizzas.


As a man who consumes more meat than the average person, very rarely do I order an entire pie with out any meat on it. Truth be told, I wouldn’t have ordered the Roberto had it not been for my counterparts wanting to try it. This white pie was rich and the delicious cheese had the elasticity that you would expect from a good pie. It didn’t have tomato sauce, but it really didn’t need it. The grape tomatoes provided a sweet flavor that is generally not found on white pies. The combination of the extra virgin oil and basil gave the pizza a very fresh earthy flavor while enhancing the taste of the other ingredients.


Second up is the butcher. What else can I say about this pie that I haven’t already said? It’s one of the best pizzas you will ever eat, and I put a guarantee behind that. I’ll just take a quote from my man Romeo, “It’s like each slice is a different meat adventure.” That may sound corny but it’s true. It’s a red slice, so you get a hint of that sweet tomato sauce with every bite, which complement the sausage, porchetta, salami crespona, and prosciutto di parma. The meat isn’t piled on top of one another for a meat overload. Instead, each meat occupies a quarter of the pie, so each slice is a different meat pizza adventure. They use prime meat, some spicier than others, some saltier than other. This is definitely a pie that you’re going to want to try at some point in your life.


Lastly, the Materdie. This was one of the BEST, most unique slices I’ve ever had. When you think of fried dough, you think greasy, heavy, something that is going to bog you down. That wasn’t really the case with this pie. If anything, it just changed the flavor of the dough making it more succulent. On the menu, it says this pizza is PACKED with ricotta and salami… understatement of the year! Each bite had an abundance of creamy ricotta goodness with that spicy salami, which went well with the fried dough. Goodness gracious, my mouth is watering. The Butcher is my go to at Kesté, but this may top it and be my choice of pizza when I go to Don Antonio.


Don Antonio has the reputation they have developed for a reason because the experience you have with the food you are eating. I have yet to have a pizza made by Roberto Caporuscio that I would describe as anything less than exceptional. The vibe to Don Antonio is great also- the long wooden bar, a conversation filled room, and pizzaiolos in view working on their craft, you’re going to have an A+ time when you go here. As a matter of fact, I can’t imagine it getting much better than this.


8 out of 8 slices

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