Don Antonio Pizza

March 15, 2012

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Don Antonio Pizzeria in Hell's Kitchen

As a big fan of Keste in Greenwich Village, I was pretty excited when I heard the man behind it – Roberto Caporuscio – was part of a new pizza place in my neighborhood, Hell’s Kitchen.  It’s called Don Antonio by Starita.  Antonio Starita is a third-generation pizza maestro from Naples.  So the combined efforts of Starita *and* Caporuscio?  I’m in!

We started with a salad to share, the Rustica ($10) – and I have to say, this may have been my favorite part of the meal – it was killer!  I know, I know, calling a salad killer seems like an overstatement, but it really was fantastic and has been the thing I’ve been thinking about and craving since we left.  All that from a salad!

The Rustica Salad

Spring mix lettuces, olives, prosciutto di parma and artichokes dressed with lemon and olive oil……so, so good!  Clearly, the prosciutto and artichokes are the stars here…..but the lemon juice and olive oil is also one of my favorite dressings and is just perfect on this.  Like I said, I’m *still* craving this salad – for lunch, for dinner, for a mid-day snack…anytime, anyway I can get it.

We each ordered a pizza – and it turns out that really wasn’t necessary – sharing one would have been plenty.  I like to keep it simple on a first visit – the better to taste the dough and sauce – so I chose the Margherita S.T.G. (Guaranteed Typical Specialty) ($12) – a big name to say, dough topped with tomato sauce, homemade mozzarella, pecorino, basil and evoo.  Very tasty.

Margherita S.T.G. Pizza at Don Antonio

The other pizza we tried was one of their special fried pizzas, the Montanara Starita ($12).  As described on the menu: lightly fried pizza dough, topped with signature Starita tomato sauce and imported smoked buffalo mozzarella, finished in our wood burning oven.

Montanara Starita Pizza at Don Antonio

Despite the pedigree, I found this pizza to be only ‘eh’.  The doughyness was interesting, but the flavors – even with the smoked buffalo mozzarella didn’t pop.  They have other fried pizzas on the menu…I’ll be interested to try another one of those – I’m thinking the one with salami – on my next visit.

The space itself is pretty nice – though the tv showing the cooks is a bit much – some of the tables are ridiculously placed – and you literally have to stand in a closet while you wait for the bathroom to be free – but overall it is nice.  With it’s location just off Times Square, it’s a great place to keep in mind if you’re heading to a Broadway Show.  I went before seeing an evening show, and while it was busy, it was so much more manageable than other places just a few blocks away, you’ll feel like a NYC insider when you eat here, rather than with the throngs of tourists.  And that’s always a good thing! *smile*

Don Antonio Pizza
309 West 50th Street

b/w 8th & 9th Avenue

Filed Under: NYC, Restaurant

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