- Don Antonio by Starita
309 W. 50th St., nr. Eighth Ave.; 646-719-1043
Funny the way these so-called Neapolitan-pizza purists are the ones touting all the wacky new pizzas these days. First it was anchovies and mozzarella together on one pie, then it was creamed corn and ham. Before you could ask “what’s next, a turkey-and-cranberry calzone?” along came the montanara. A montanara, in case you didn’t know, is a round of dough that’s flash-fried, molded into a pan, topped in the minimalist margherita fashion of the day, sprinkled with some sharp grated cheese, then given a quick tanning-booth session in the wood-burning oven. It’s the hardest-working pie in the pizza business, and has been proliferating ever since Giulio Adriani unleashed the thing at Forcella in Williamsburg last summer. Every version we’ve tasted is delicious, in the way you’d imagine deep-fried, cheese-topped dough would be, but our current infatuation is with the montanara Starita at the new Don Antonio. Their take benefits from the secret Starita sauce (don’t ask; they won’t tell) and the application of smoked buffalo mozzarella, which contrasts ever so delectably with the faint sweetness of the dough.