Antonio Starita’s new pizza place opened in February in Hell’s Kitchen. It quickly rose to fame and I finally made my way over to see what all the fuss was about. Their specialty is Montanara pizza. The dough is deep fried in the tradition of Naples. It is not deep fried in the traditional manner, only the bottom is fried in a pan. This style is all the rage in New York. It was not my first time tasting Montanara, and I have to preface by letting you know that it is not my style of pizza (I’m more of a traditionalist).
I got to the restaurant towards the end of the lunch shift. The restaurant was happily busy, but not overwhelmed. Our server enthusiastically came by with his ipad to take our order. He suggested we try the Montanara (of course). We ordered a Montanara as well as a salciccia pizza with a carafe of Falanghina which cost $25 (love restaurants with smart wine programs). The wine was reasonably priced and tasty.
The Montanara pizza was not for me ($12). I felt the same way I felt when I watched the premiere of Girls. Everyone raved about it, except for me. I’ve tried this style before at other restaurants and did not enjoy it then, so this possibly has to do with my flavor preferences. I am not someone who is afraid of calories, but I like to make them count. It’s a whole lot of dough, too many carbs and not enough nutrition that I can justify the calories. Then again, plenty of other reviewers have fallen in love with the Montanara, I will leave it up to New York to tell me I am wrong.
I enjoyed the salciccia pizza quite a bit ($15). The ingredients were fresh, tasty. The dough was nothing like your regular NY slice (in a very good way). It was lighter and fluffier. Antonio and I both knew that we’d be coming back regularly for more of this delicious pie.
I really enjoyed my meal at Antonio by Starita. The service was superb, the food and wine were good…and I was able to see what was going on in the kitchen. They’ve set up a tv that gives clients a view into the semi open kitchen. Very cool stuff. I’ll skip the Montanara next time and try more stuff on the menu.
Antonio by Starita is located at 309 West 50th Street in Midtown West, New York. (646) 719-1043