Using the phrase "Best Pizza In New York" is a serious matter especially if you are a New Yorker (sadly, tourists' opinions do not count much in a pizza contest that started with the real Ray's back in the day and goes to now). New Yorkers know their pizza, and feel as strongly about it as they do for the Yankees and Statue Of Liberty. Chelsea's Donatella (owned by restaurateur extraordinaire Donatella Arpaia) has won awards for her all-veal meatballs so when you put them on one of her pizzas--yowza! We are very specifically speaking of her Polpette Pizza, which includes freshly made Caciocavallo cheese (not mozzarella although it tastes similar and a staple in Puglia, Italy from raw cow and sheep milk curds), topped with fresh pieces of basil and a darkened-just-right crust baked in her custom-made brick oven. Did we fail to include mention of Donatella's homemade old-school marinara? Sorry about that. We like the way the crust is very dark and even black at parts--it's very old school and even beats our previous #1 (the old-school Neapolitan pies at Eataly).
But do not go to Donatella just for the pizza. On our visit--despite being full from the Polpette, we tried the pasta special of the day, Homemade Cavatelli with pea pesto, thick-cut pancetta pieces and Parmesan cheese. We have never had pesto not made with basil before, and this pea pesto has a thicker consistency with much less olive oil added. The cavatelli is served al dente, so if you prefer your pasta softer, speak up when you order. This is a highly memorable dish and you might actually decide that you want to make the switchover to this type of pesto at home since it is much less caloric (but with a lot of flavor).
|Chopped Veggie Salad|
|Bittersweet Chocolate Parfait|
184 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
[Photos: Anne M. Raso]