Last June, when Grub Street reported on the pizza wallet at Kesté Pizza & Vino, aka “the portfolio,” we took note with excitement — the Neapolitan pie goes portable! But we measured the ‘Neapolitan’ equivalent of New York’s street slice against the original with mixed results.
While they tasted good, wallets made with regular Kesté pies (they wouldn’t make minis), with toppings and without, eaten crust or tip first, either burst open or devolved into a mess of bread and cheese. Whether you were sitting or walking, it was a fail. A new innovation at Kesté, the “pizza sandwich,” had more promise.
The “pizza insalata” ($13) is described on the menu as a “Pizza Sandwich filled with spring mix, prosciutto di Parma, artichoke, lemon, [and] extra virgin olive oil.” It’s a pizza round cooked without sauce or cheese, that’s then fully sliced through horizontally.
The dough, in full leopard-spotting mode, is served quartered, still warm, with the contents delicately layered inside. The greens, prosciutto, and artichoke make for a crispy snack redolent of lemon. But it’s not pizza, there’s no sauce and no cheese, so if pizza is what you’re in the mood for, keep scanning the menu.
The pizza insalata inspires other permutations. The pizza dough is fantastic after all, chewy, and smelling slightly of char and possibility. If they’re willing to slice the dough open horizontally consider a dough round cut in half, then sliced open leaving the cornicione intact: pizza as pita.
“The greens, prosciutto, and artichoke make for a crispy snack redolent of lemon. But it’s not pizza, there’s no sauce and no cheese, so if pizza is what you’re in the mood for, keep scanning the menu.”
Stuffed with combinations of cheese, greens, or charcuterie, the options are pretty limitless. And who knows, maybe light layers of cheese and sauce would make for a better wallet.
Kesté Pizza & Vino
271 Bleecker Street,
New York, NY 10014
Phone: (212) 243-1500
Kesté Pizza & Vino
Subway: 1, 2, 5 (Houston St)
This post was originally published August 11, 2010, on the now-defunct, James-Beard Award-nominated blog AlwaysHungryNY.com.