Mon-Thu, noon-3:30pm and 5pm-11pm; Fri-Sat, noon-11:30pm; Sun, noon-10:30pm
1 at Christopher St.-Sheridan Sq.; A, B, C, D, E, F, M at W. 4th St.-Washington Sq.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
In the Neapolitan dialect, “kesté” means “this is it,” which, in the fractious world of pizza freaks, has a bit of the ring of a gauntlet being thrown down. Kesté, though, might just be the biggest thing in pizza to hit this town since Gennaro Lombardi. About the oven: crafted by artisans who flew in from Naples, it meets the strictest standards of Neapolitan pizza-making, from the size of the mouth to the shape of the dome to the wood stacked up for fuel. Chef-owner Roberto Caporuscio would have it no other way. A dairy farmer-turned-cheese-salesman who found his calling relatively late in life, Caporuscio is so obsessed with authentic ingredients and traditional technique he presides over the American chapter of a trade association, Associazone Pizzaiouli Napoletana, that certifies pizza makers, much like the older Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana certifies restaurants. After establishing Neapolitan-pizza beachheads in such unlikely locales as the outskirts of Pittsburgh and Ridgewood, New Jersey, Caporuscio trained pizzaioli in Denver, St. Louis, and Chicago, and after Kesté gets its footing, he plans to launch 10-day, $4,000 workshops for professionals and amateurs alike. Until then, he will focus all his attention on turning out twelve-inch pies in such classic permutations as Margerita, Marinara, and Mast’ Nicola, the first recorded pizza, topped with lardo, Pecorino Romano, and basil.