Don Antonio By Starita
309 West 50th St (nr 8th Ave)
City: New York, NY
Phone: (646) 719-1043
2nd Cuisine: Italian
Area: West 50s
Payment: Amex Visa Mastercard
I don't know if there is such a thing as a foodgasm. But if there is, one awaits you at Don Antonio by Starita. Because one bite into one of these pizza pies and you will be instantly hooked.
We started with the signature pie called the Montanara Starita ($12). It's half baked and half fried. Just think of eating pizza on a giant zeppole, minus the powdered sugar of course. In its place is a tangy tomato sauce, fresh basil and smoked buffalo mozzarella. What emerges is a symphony for the mouth. But as good as that may sound and taste, I still prefer the pies baked entirely in the wood burning oven.
Pies here are cooked super fast; from order to table they arrive in an astonishing three minutes. Mine was covered with fresh mozzarella and slices of artichoke ($16). Its crust was all puffed up around the edges with blisters of molten dough covered with just the right amount of char. I was literally oohing and ahhhing with every bite. I devoured my four slices in a matter of seconds. At that point I felt like I needed a cigarette, but a perfectly prepared espresso would suffice.
Don Antonio is a collaboration of Robert Caporuscio, of Kesté in the Village, and Antonio Starita of Naples, whose family has been in the pizza business since 1901. Here you will find every combination imaginable using only the freshest ingredients, including mushroom, sausage, prosciutto, radicchio, sopressata and even pistachio pesto. You will also find paninis, salads and antipasti, and waiters with an Italian accent that are quick on their feet, friendly and very accommodating. There is also a full bar up front serving an interesting assortment of cocktails along with an extensive wine list.
The calling card at Don Antonio's features a picture of the Pope being served a Starita pie. It's called the Pizza del Papa made with butternut squash, zucchini, roasted peppers and smoked mozzarella. It's fitting since we think you will find all of these pies simply divine.
Review By: Thomas Rafael