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adams728 Jun 19, 2012 07:06 AM

Has anyone been to Michael White's new pizza place? Can anyone give a review?

  1. r
    r32nissan Aug 7, 2012 01:19 PM


    This is the most negative review I've read from Pete Wells since he took over the reigns at the influential (albeit not as influential as it used to be) NY Times. I'm in no rush to give this spot a try.

    Is this consistent with Chowhounder's experiences there?

    9 Replies
    1. re: r32nissan
      jdg5005 Aug 7, 2012 02:07 PM

      I have to say I went there a week or two after it opened. White was tossing the dough and you could tell that he was really into making sure everything was being done to his specs.

      We got the cabonara & porchetta pies. The carbonara was amazing albeit a lot salty and the porchetta fell flat.
      I would definitely come back, and encourage people to try it for themselves. They do have pitchers of beer (which is not that easy to come by in NY).

      1. re: r32nissan
        scott123 Aug 8, 2012 09:19 AM

        Frank Bruni, on Keste, in 2009:


        "I got almost no pleasure from the soggy pies at Kesté — including one with sausage that could have come from a Jimmy Dean’s freezer package"

        I point this out as an example of food critics not always being the best pizza critics, especially when it comes to pizza that's outside the norm (and Nicoletta is WAY outside the norm).

        I'm still waiting for a well known pizza aficionado (like Adam Kuban) to review Nicoletta. Until then, I continue to be realistically hopeful, regardless of what Wells has to say.

        1. re: scott123
          chervil9 Aug 9, 2012 06:39 AM

          I agree about the pizza at Keste. The pies I sampled were so top heavy, really the cheese was at least 1/2 inch thick and the crust was awfully soggy, couldn't hold the toppings. And this is considered great pizza?

          1. re: chervil9
            scott123 Aug 9, 2012 09:25 AM

            This is considered great 'Neapolitan' pizza. Just because a few New Yorkers aren't used to Neapolitan pizza and are put off by it's wetter nature, doesn't make it bad. People that enjoy this style generally like Keste.

            Complaining about the wetness in Neapolitan pizza is like complaining about the raw fish in sushi. If someone doesn't like raw fish, they shouldn't be critiquing sushi restaurants.

            1. re: scott123
              chervil9 Aug 10, 2012 06:12 AM

              Your comment makes absolutely no sense to me.

              1. re: chervil9
                Cheeryvisage Aug 10, 2012 07:16 AM

                I think what Scott's saying is that Keste's pizza is exactly what Neapolitan pizza should be. The fact that you don't like their pizza is possibly because the Neapolitan style isn't to your taste, not Keste's pizza is bad. For fans of Neapolitan pizza, the general consensus is Keste is excellent.

                1. re: Cheeryvisage
                  scott123 Aug 10, 2012 09:40 AM


        2. re: r32nissan
          eastvillagegirl Aug 10, 2012 02:31 PM

          I happen to agree with Mr. Wells review. The pizza was too doughy and heavy, and the appetizers I had (rice balls, meatballs) were nothing special. The soft serve ice cream with dark chocolate and salted caramel sauce made up for it, as it was sublime!

          1. re: eastvillagegirl
            studentwife Aug 11, 2012 03:17 PM

            Also agree with Wells review. My husband thought the pizza tasted like pizza hut. I just didn't care for it. It's heavy and tasted flat. The caponata tasted off and the meatballs mostly tasted of salt. The ice cream was the highlight, although that's relative to a pretty disappointing meal. As a couple who loves Marea, and also frequents NYC's best pizza offerings, Nicoletta was a huge let down. I think Michael White will fight for success here though, as it's clear that he wants to expand with this idea. Give it a couple months.

        3. f
          friskygeek Jul 1, 2012 02:37 PM

          Agree with the early reviews here. Went there for dinner last night and the pizza was just so-so. The dough, although sufficiently crispy and flavourful, was just too greasy and "wet" for our liking in some areas. Gonna have to let them sort it out before we go back.

          1. j
            Jorel Jun 30, 2012 04:45 PM

            White was playing with the dough and even the toppings every night of friends & family so what Slice had has definitely changed at least a bit. I really enjoyed what I've had there (also f&f). I imagine they will continue to tweak the dough as they go. I'm waiting a month or so before going back. One thing I will say: the fior di latte for dessert was amazing.

            1. s
              scott123 Jun 30, 2012 01:42 PM

              It's fairly common for newly opened pizzerias to experience growing pains and this is no exception.

              They were having some issues two and a half weeks ago


              I know that they were in the process of tweaking the formula, but I'm not sure that they worked all the kinks out yet.

              The idea of high end and artistic toppings on a Midwestern style crust in a NY area restaurant is incredibly novel and shows promise. In practice, though, celebrity chefs, generally speaking, are crap bakers. White has some talented pizzamakers working for him, though, like Michael Cariglio. If White delegates enough of the doughmaking responsibilities (and I think he might be), there's hope.

              I'd still give it a couple more weeks- perhaps after Adam Kuban (Slice) goes back for a more comprehensive review.

              1. f
                friskygeek Jun 30, 2012 10:32 AM

                Going there tonight. Will report back! Huge fan of White, been to all of his restaurants.

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