Keste Pizza and Vino:
Just because everyone's broke doesn't mean restaurateurs are pulling the plug on their new projects. But it does mean we're seeing more mid-range eateries popping up, and three new pizza restaurants are open for business this week. Let's call it a trend! The most hotly anticipated is the Neapolitan-style Keste, co-owned by Roberto Caporuscio, a former mozzarella-maker who trained in Naples at the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana school, which sounds like a big deal.
According to Adam Kuban, who enjoyed a delicious-looking preview for Slice, Caporuscio's a "renowned pizzaiolo," and his restaurant boasts a beautiful 1,000 degree oven (pictured) made with volcanic stone that cooks the pies in a minute or less. The narrow dining space only has room 20 two-person tables, so, like the premiere of Co., expect lines of pizza geeks to stretch around the block. Once inside, you'll have 18 pizzas on the menu to choose from, all made with the most crucial ingredients imported from Italy. 271 Bleecker Street, (212) 243-1500
Ignazio's: It takes some serious stugots to open up a new pizza place on Grimaldi's turf in DUMBO, but Bensonhurst native Louis Timero doesn't seem to be sweating it. According to Brooklyn Heights Blog, he grew up on his Italian grandmother's homemade variety, then took his expertise to pizza-hungry Hartford, CT in the late '80s, filling the void with a mini-empire of six pizzerias. Ignazio's pies will be made with regionally-sourced, seasonal ingredients, with toppings including offbeat options like organic corn and lobster claw. Thrillist reports an all-Italian wine list, plus beer from Brooklyn Brewery, Sixpoint, and Kelso. Located directly under the Brooklyn Bridge overpass, Ignazio's affords stellar views of the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan skyline, and a small stage with a baby grand will host music nightly. 4 Water Street, Brooklyn; (718) 522.2100
Anselmo’s: This long-awaited Red Hook coal-fired pizza spot on Van Brunt “should be open this week.” Pizza maker Anselmo Garcia will be pulling a Dom DeMarco, according to Slice: per the pre-opening report, Garcia will “be the sole pizza-maker at the place. If there's no Anselmo, there's no pizza.” Slice also has the first few proving ground photos from last weekend’s “test oven” day, revealing what looks like a bit of char and even more fresh mozzarella; NY Mag corroborates with a photo and writeup of their own, only their pie is strewn with basil leaves. Anselmo’s will serve pies and calzones. Cash only for now; call ahead to be sure the oven is roaring. 354 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook; (718) 775-5386 — Hugh Merwin