Pizza with a Pedigree at Don Antonio by Starita

If lineage matters, the Neapolitan-style pizza at Don Antonio by Starita should be something special. Open for just three weeks, this is a joint venture by a co-owner of Kesté, a Chowhound favorite in the Village, and the third-generation owner of Starita a Materdei in Naples, which has been in business since 1901.

Cheeryvisage says the pie lives up to expectations. The signature Montanara Starita—lightly fried dough topped with tomato sauce and smoked buffalo mozzarella, then finished in the oven—boasts a crisp, golden outer crust "that was a pleasure to sink my teeth into," she says. And unlike the fried pizza at Forcella, a hound-endorsed competitor, Don Antonio's is not at all oily. Just as good, she adds, is the prosciutto and arugula pizza, which never sees the fryer. Its crust is marvelously puffy and "just incredible." cath loves the pie with sausage and pistachio pesto: "the crust was nicely charred but still fluffy and soft."

Pizzas—more than 50 varieties—dominate the menu, but there are also salads and tasty bites like the montanarine, a fried dough puff topped with tomato sauce and pecorino, and the fritattine, a little spaghetti "cake" with ham and mozzarella that reminded cath of pasta carbonara: "no egg, but it had that creamy, cheesy, bacony thing going on." Desserts include a panna cotta that Cheeryvisage finds very good and a Nutella and fried dough confection that small h says is "very tasty if you eat, like, one piece. After that, it's just too much sweet & fry."

Don Antonio by Starita [Hell's Kitchen]
309 W. 50th Street (between Eighth and Ninth avenues), Manhattan
646-719-1043

Discuss: Don Antonio - New Neapolitan Pizzeria in Midtown