Sora Lella, Kesté and Tonda: an Italian invasion!

If you don’t mind a light dinner comprised of nibblers and grapes, it’s safe to say that you can eat for free at least twice a week in this town. And that’s the case even if you are not at all the party-hopper type. The economic downturn has definitely not slowed down the amount of restaurant openings in the city. We are living an Italian incursion. They came, they saw, and this week, they are conquering threefold: two pizzerias and one restaurant are opening its doors to depressed carb-craving New Yorkers.

Sora Lella
300 Spring St., nr. Hudson St. 212 366 4749
Sora Lella’s grand opening festa on Monday night was absolutely packed and fun (see photos). This is the much awaited US outpost of the celebrated 50 year-old gastronomic institution on Rome’s Isola Tiberina. The energy level was high, fueled with sangria, bubbly, reds and whites in abundance. Plenty of deliziosi tidbits, as well. If I were a light eater and patient enough to stay in the crowded dining room stuffing down enough potato croquettes, I could have gone home satisfied. But aware of Giorgione’s existence precisely fifty feet away I couldn’t resist a proper meal at one of my favorite Italian eateries. The iconic roman carciofi alla giudea of Sora Lella’s will have to wait.

Kesté Pizza & Vino
271 Bleecker St., nr. Morton St.; 212 243 1500
Not too far from there, a pizzeria run by not just any pizzaiolo, but the president of the Associazone Pizzaioli Napoletana himself, Roberto Caporuscio. The trade association controls and certifies pizza makers, as well as the oven. His love for the business explains the artisan oven flown in from Naples. In Napolitan dialect, “Kesté” means “this is it”. Honestly I can’t wait to try it out. The opening was scheduled for this week, but I just found out it’s pushed back to next Monday. Curious to see if this will really be “it.” My quest for the perfect pizza parlor in New York is interminable and controversial. A post just on that topic is to come!

235 East 4th Street, 212 254 2900
Owned by same entrepreneurs of Italian haunt Bread and Bread Tribeca, another Napolitan-style pizzeria is hitting town. I’m not complaining! Besides my love for crispy pies topped with buffala and basil, I welcome the price range these tasty crusts offer during a saggy economy. To be opened soon. Very soon! Stay tuned at

Bookmark and Share