NYC — Winter 2015: Don Antonio

Sunday, February 22, 2015
I had a few restaurants in mind to go after watching The Book of Mormon (which was excellent, by the way, and totally exceeded my expectations — then again, it's the winner of 9 Tony Awards and a single ticket could've bought me many pretty things at Sephora). I knew we'd be in the Theatre District, so I had looked up some "Best of" lists to see what was good to eat around there. We originally wanted to go to Ippudo Westside (the second Ippudo location since their original one, with two-hour line-ups, proved much too busy to be housed in a single space) for their highly-acclaimed ramen, but when we got there around 10:00, it was a packed house with an hour wait for a table. I mean, I love my noodles, but I'm not that desperate for 'em, especially since we have so many great options in Toronto. So, for our last meal on this trip, we decided to have something that is quintessentially New York: pizza. Also to make up for the shitty pizza we had at OTTO the day prior. Hence, we walked over to Don Antonio.


What Don Antonio specializes in is Neapolitan pizza, which is my favourite type of pizza, and for all intents and purposes, is what I refer to as New York pizza, even though there are subtle differences between the two (you can read about the differences in pizza styles here). We ordered two different pies to share: the classic Margherita, and the more eccentric Pizza del Re. There is one main thing that makes the pizza here sing, and that is the crust. It has a nice crisp exterior with visible charred spots (almost like a leopard), but the interior is moist, almost fluffy, with a good chew and lots of flavour. There might be no such thing as the perfect pizza crust, but the one at Don Antonio is damn close. The mozzarella is incredibly fresh and homemade, and the toppings are generous and evenly distributed. The Margherita here is a must-have by any and all pizza lovers; you just can't go wrong with this classic. Along with the perfect crust and delectable cheese, the tomato sauce is fresh and lightly sweet and doesn't overwhelm any of the other flavours. 

Pizza del Re

The Pizza del Re actually has a combination of toppings that I've never had before: truffle cream, homemade mozzarella, mushrooms, prosciutto di parma, and basil. The mushrooms are the real star in this particular pie; they are cooked perfectly so that they are both crisp and plush, and there is an abundance of it, layered just underneath all that fresh mozzarella. The smoky-salty flavour of the prosciutto works beautifully with the earthiness of the mushrooms, and the truffle cream is just a genius replacement for tomato sauce in a pizza (it's controversial, but I actually prefer non-tomato sauce pizzas, so this was perfect to me). Both pies were fantastic, and it was the perfect New York meal before heading home. (And yes, it more than made up for the extremely disappointing pizzas we had at OTTO.) Don Antonio has over 40 varieties of Neapolitan pies and is lauded as the best pizza in Midtown and one of the best in Manhattan as a whole; a must-visit if you're in the area or just looking for some damn good pizza in New York.

Don Antonio
309 W 50th Street
New York, NY 10019
(646) 719-1043
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