When it comes to outclassing pizza pedigree, new Manhattan restaurant L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele has a story to tell.
You might’ve heard of its Naples, Italy, storefront, which has been serving pizza for the past 152 years. Needless to say, it’s pizza enthusiasts’ seventh wonder of the world.
Born and raised in Naples, owner Francesco Zimone brings one of his favorite childhood haunts to the Big Apple. To ensure “the real deal” ends up on guests’ plates, the Michele Pizzeria family made the trip across the Atlantic to give their stamp of approval on their secret safeguarded recipe that has now made it stateside (2019 saw the opening of the restaurant’s second location in Los Angeles, followed by Santa Barbara in 2022 — NYC is the third in the portfolio).
The two-story restaurant in Manhattan’s West Village neighborhood features an assemblage of different concepts. When here, you’ll find elements of a salumeria, charcuterie bar, and coffee bar, plus two upscale bars and a conjoined wine cellar-taverna — all under the culinary talents of Chef & Head Pizzaiolo Michele Rubini & Executive Chef Giuseppe Gentile.
Buzzy at both lunch and dinner, the overground portion of the restaurant is separated into two rooms: In one room — the entrance space — tables sit alongside a bar suffusing tiles dressed in tones of white, matte, green, and magenta; in the back room, a spacious dining room with an open kitchen comprised of brick walls adorned with contemporary art casts a convivial setting.
Downstairs, a former basement takes on a new life as a cavernous wine cellar and cozy taverna — a concept that feels drastically (yet thoughtfully) different than its upstairs siblings.
Gastronomy-wise, the Gnocchi Fritto — deep-fried pizza dough, burrata, prosciutto, and arugula — is impossible not to like.
Now for our favorite part — taking the fact that you’re physically in NYC out of play, the pizza alone makes you feel like you’re in Naples. You can’t go wrong ordering the Pizza Diavola — tomato, fior di latte, pecorino, basil, spicy Salami, and Calabrian chili — or the Pizza Pesto — pesto, fior di latte, cherry tomatoes, plus burrata.
The Cacio e Pepe — spaghetti, pecorino, basil, arugula, parmigiano, black pepper, and extra virgin olive oil — proves that the pasta is just as phenomenal as the pizza at L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele.
Sweet tooth or not, in terms of dessert, the tiramisu will win you over at every bite.
Location: New York City (West Village)
The Vibe: A storied Naples staple refashioned to befit New York City, all the while not compromising its authenticity.
Price Point: $$
Takes Reservations?: Yes, via OpenTable.
Our Favorite Thing on the Menu: Everything was so tasty — that said, if we had to pick one item, it would be the inimitable Pizza Pesto. This goes without saying, but burrata and pesto on a pizza are always a good decision.
The Attire: Smart casual
Hours of Operation: Every day, lunch is served from 11:30 pm-3:00 pm & Dinner from 5:00 pm-10:00 pm