I had a chance to try Keste, and I have to say I was blown away. I would rank it right up there as an equal to the best Neapolitan pizza I have found anywhere: Antica Costa in Naples Italy, Il Pizzaiolo in Pittsburgh PA, and Una Pizza Napoletana in NYC. Although the crust at UPN has the flavor advantage of using wild yeast, somehow Roberto was able to coax quite a bit of flavor out of the flour using commercial yeast, and the toppings at this pizzeria just put it totally over the top. I feel like Roberto has reached a new level in his pizza making, and those of you that had a chance to try his creations at Amano might be surprised to find that Keste is even better. I don't want to go too far into describing his methods, but I will say that he is now doing a 100% room temp rise, and quite a long one at that.
The oven was very hot, and I didn't time them but my guess is that the pizzas were coming out in 1.5 min or less. The charring and bake was in my opinion 100% perfect, and there was no gum layer in the pizzas I tried. The toppings are of the absolute highest quality, and are quite creative. This is a no holds barred pizzeria, with absolutely the best ingredients used regardless of price. It has only been open for a very short amount of time and it was packed. I have a feeling it is going to become the premier destination Neapolitan pizzeria for the NY area.
As usual Roberto is making his special off the menu creations, and while I was there I watched one of his workers braid a wreath of pizza dough stuffed with cheese, mushrooms and other goodies. The wreath was baked and served around a mountain of micro greens that were sprinkled with cheese, olive oil, salt, and topped with prosciutto. This pizza-like creation was visually breathtaking. I had a chance to sample a pizza made with truffle cream, and another one made with butternut squash puree. They are both highly recommended!
The best part of the night was seeing our fellow forum member David working behind the counter preparing pizzas. It feels good to see my friends making that plunge from hobbyist to professional. First Jeff, Pete, now David, who's next?
? Good luck Roberto, and I have to say (no offense SC) to me this was VERY inspired pizza!