Because most of our meals in NYC were allocated to the act of burger-eating, we didn’t have much time left for pizza-eating. We had one meal to fill, and tossing up between Lombardi’s (which I’ve been to) and Don Antonio by Starita, we chose ol’ Don Antonio because a) we both hadn’t been before, b) the queue at Lombardi’s is insane at any time of the day and c) Don Antonio does a FRIED PIZZA.
I didn’t know what a fried pizza would taste like, but I guess there is no better time to find out!
Nestled away in Hell’s Kitchen, close enough but tucked away from the madness that is Time Square during Christmas, Don Antonio by Starita is a cute little pizza joint, bustling with energy and friendly service. Their speciality are their “pizze fritte” ie lightly fried pizza, where the dough is flash fried, toppings added and then popped into a wood fired oven.
You wouldn’t think the results would be vastly different, but you would be wrong. What a little bit of hot oil can do, huh? We tried the Montanara Starita (top) - lightly fried pizza dough topped with their signature Starita tomato sauce, imported smoked buffalo mozzarella, finished in a wood fired oven. I can’t even really describe it but basically, the base made the pizza. I could have sat there and eaten the base over and over.
We also ordered a margherita with salami (not fried), which was also divine – airy and tasty. A wise person once told me that you judge a pizza restaurant by their margherita pizzas, albeit I’m sure he meant the plain one sans salami.
And we had some salad. Salad is salad.
We thought we’d finish with a light dessert, the waitress explaining that these pizza fingers were just tiny, like a finger! Well, it was a HUGE bowl full of a BIG FAT MAN’S finger, drenched in nutella. Don’t get me wrong, we ate it all and it was really fricking delicious. But I was also grateful that it was winter, and I had my Michelin man down jacket, because then everyone looked just as fat as I felt underneath.
Oh hai, Panu! With his negroni.
Don Antonio by Starita
309 West 50th Street
Hell’s Kitchen, NYC, 10019
+1 646 719 1043