A couple of weeks ago my 6 year old son and I took our (2nd) annual trip to NYC for a lot of opera, a little ballet, and a lot of pizza.
We had lunch at Naples 45, which is on 45th and Park in Manhattan. It is a large, handsome restaurant, with high ceilings and a spacious feel to it. We began by ordering a couple of appetizers, a Caesar salad and some calamari. Both of these were uninspired, and I began to fear that this was going to be a real let down on the pizza front.
I am happy to report that the pizza we had was very good. Not stellar, but a very good attempt at a Neo pie. The ingredients were all very good, the dough had very good crumb, and the pie had a pleasingly thick crust and thinner middle. The only thing that I wished for was more flavor complexity in the crust; I had the impression that the dough had insufficient time to ferment.
Afterwards, we went back and spoke to the pizza guys. As has been reported elsewhere, they do use Caputo 00, San Marzano tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. Their oven, which I believe is wood burning, was around 700 degrees, I was told (seemed credible based on how long it took to cook a pie). As I suspected, they make their dough balls the night before.
All in all, a worthwhile experience.
Next month we are heading to the real Naples. A contact in Rome has set us up with a native Neapolitan (her name is Fiorella--that's Italian) who will be taking us on a tour of pizza and other Neapolitan specialities. I need to find the "must-eat-at" list for Naples I know must be somewhere on this board.