Keste: In Praise of Neapolitan Pizza
Keste is da best-eh. It's a little late at night so this review might sound a bit loopy. Steph and I came here a few weeks ago on recommendation from a friend, Janet Lee. Who could turn down wood-fired Neapolitan pizza?
Not us. Anyways, "Keste", means "This is it", which makes sense because these pizzas are legit and amazing. How is it "legit"? Well, the restaurant is owned by Roberto Caporuscio, a master in pizza-making who refined his skills in Naples, Italy. And, he trained at the Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana, a.k.a. where people go to become PIZZA GODS. Keste serves over 50 different types of pizzas with traditional ingredients, including homemade mozzarella. The stone oven, maintained at 1,000 degrees, bakes the pizza to perfection. You will notice that the pizza will be crisp with spots of dark char but still soft and airy.
Okay. Time to talk about the actual food. Steph got the Keste pizza. It had a tomato sauce base, with imported Buffalo Mozzarella, Prosciutto di Parma, Arugula, Gran Cru, and Extra Virgin (EV) Olive Oil. My dear girlfriend had the heart to share a slice with me despite how good it tasted. And, she knows how to order food. Overall, the Keste was very good. I like it when there is EV Olive Oil in the pizza because it enhances the flavors of the other ingredients. It also gives the pizza a subtle fruitiness that doesn't overpower the rest of the flavors.
I ordered the Pistacchio e Salsiccia. It came with Fresh Pistacchio Pesto, Sausage, Homemade Mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, Basil, and EV Olive Oil. I did not know that Caporuscio was also a poet. Look at those ingredients. That recipe belongs at the MOMA. There are so many beautiful things going on in this pizza. You guys already know I'm in love with EV Olive Oil but basil is like drugs to me. I love the smell. Pecorino Romano is a dry, salty, sheep's milk cheese. It's hearty, rich, and goes very well with sausage and pistachio.
Now, my favorite part was the pistachio pesto (see above). I've never had anything like it. I was so confused at first. But, my confusion turned into disbelief then into admiration. It felt like the first day of summer, on a beach, on a white stallion, with a flat screen smart tv, Iberico ham, and epic Lord of the Rings music after a week-long snow storm.
Sometimes, you can't really taste the mysterious and uncommon ingredients that chefs put in their dishes and that upsets me. Thankfully, that didn't happen with Caporuscio's Pistacchio e Salsiccia. I could definitely taste the pistachio and it was glorious. My heart wanted more but my stomach betrayed me and told me I couldn't eat a second pizza. I was a fool to listen to my stomach.