Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This is NOT your Friday Night Pizza...

Pin It
There are two types of pizza: that great neighborhood favorite we all rely on for Friday nights (didn’t everyone have “Pizza Fridays” growing up?) and then there is gourmet artisan Neapolitan pizza. There is a place for both types – but Monday night Foodies In NYC went to Keste Pizza and Vino in the West Village – a place made famous by magazines like The New Yorker, Time Out New York and even "The Today Show." Being the PR goddesses we are, we decided to check it out for ourselves!

The menu is big and a bit intimidating with ingredients you don’t expect to find on pizza (butternut squash and artichokes, for example). But we came hungry and ready to experiment! Once we talked Danielle out of a salad…which looked delicious (but Christa and I quickly convinced her that it would take up precious room in our bellies for PIZZA), we decided to try three different types of pizza.

We ordered the house favorite – the Keste pizza – with tomatoes, fresh (incredible) buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto di Parma, arugula, gran cru (a hard Italian pecorino cheese) and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, Pizza del Papa Pizza – butternut squash cream, imported smoked mozzarella, artichokes and red and yellow peppers and lastly, we ordered the special of the evening the Burrata Pizza with ripe cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and a melt-in-your-mouth Burrata cheese (tastes like a buffalo mozzarella/ricotta combination).

Keste uses a thin, but flavorful, pizza crust as a foundation for some of the best, authentic, fresh Italian ingredients. The crust then bubbles and puffs up at the ends, which becomes a helpful tool when scooping up some of the fantastic toppings! Though, we did find the Pizza del Papa and the Burrata a tad bit soggy towards the end because of all of the ingredients it had to carry, but we won’t hold it against ‘em.

I think we all had different favorites. I loved the smoked buffalo mixed with the butternut squash cream, Danielle loved the crispy arugula with the prosciutto di Parma and Christa loved dipping the crust into the drippings of all three!

So we recommend checking it out! Go early though – because by the time we left (around 7:30 on a Monday night) there was a line out the door! Also – check out the website for a really interesting history of pizza.

For a very special ending to the meal – walk down the block to the corner of Carmine and Bleecker to Grom for a gelato that will take you from the busy streets of the West Village immediately to the gelaterias of Italy! Try the Dark Chocolate – or if you’re feeling saucy – try the EXTRA Dark Chocolate. OR try both, since Grom lets you have two flavors in one cup (in any size you want). It was the perfetto ending to our Italian culinary journey! Ciao!

Keste Pizzaria and Vino
271 Bleecker St
(between Morton St & Jones St)
New York, NY 10014

233 Bleecker St (and Carmine)
New York, NY 10014

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

FC Nibble: Road Trip! Danielle Samples the Slow Food of Sacramento

Pin It The slow food movement is something I, as a proud foodie, try to embrace (when I have the patience). What is it you ask? Well it’s a group of chefs and proprietors who are committed to cooking with local ingredients and changing their menu regularly to incorporate what’s fresh, in season, and, well… delicious. Supporting these restaurants and chefs who believe the best food is in your own backyard will always leave you satisfied on multiple levels.

When it comes to slow food, Grange in Sacramento doesn’t disappoint. Changing its menu daily with what is best and freshest in Northern California, Grange was a great treat during my short stay in California’s capital. The wine list was quite impressive and we sampled some great reds and whites from nearby Napa. The appetizers were delicious. I highly recommend the assorted marinated olives with goat cheese flatbreads.

Entrees were large portions and they really felt like they were created in a farmer's kitchen. While most of my dining companions opted for carnivorous fare, I went for tuna which was perfectly seared. Dessert, which I normally skip, was a smooth and silky chocolate mousse I highly recommend it – that is – if chocolate mouse is in season :).

926 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 492-4450