At newly opened Don Antonio in Midtown, you can watch pizzaiolas, including at least one woman, work the dough and check the char via video feed, or you can contemplate a photo of the pope eating a pie in Italy. You can watch people debate the numerous permutations of pizza available, or you can look up at the skylight in the slightly raised portion of the dining area. If you're at all aware of pizza going-ons in New York City, then no doubt you already know that this new, much-anticipated restaurant is a partnership between Roberto Caporuscio of Keste and his mentor, Antonio Starita, of Pizzeria Starita in Naples.
We decided to watch each other eat the two pies we chose: as we ate the proscuitto e arugula (top photo), we smiled but wistfully, for this pie evoked spring, which felt particularly far away as the temperatures dropped into the twenties this afternoon. The softness of the crunch mimicked the airiness and lightness of the salty, bitter toppings. Isn't it lovely looking? The smile was even bigger as we munched the montanara starita, a fried pie that maybe also could have spent a wee bit longer in the oven, but whose signature secret tomato sauce and smoked mozzarella were, somehow, meaty and hearty. We watched and watched, until there wasn't a crumb left on either plate.