Besides a pretzel or hot dog from the vendor carts, the PERFECT slice of pizza is always a highly sought experience when someone visits the Big Apple. From Brooklyn to New Jersey, downtown to the Bronx – each pizzeria in each borough is different. Luckily, Distrikt Hotel is right next to a hidden treasure called Capizzi.
Serving authentic old-fashion wood burn pizza, as well as breads and salads – the restaurant is named after a small town in Sicily (Province of Messina), called Capizzi. This little town is where the owner’s, Joseph Calcagno, Mother and Grandparents are from. So, this gem of a pizzeria is a tribute to the family, and basically feels like you are eating a home-cooked meal at your Grandma’s table! The ambience of the restaurant is very cozy and inviting. Inside you see family photos, flowers in used wine bottles, an old rotary phone, an even older 1950’s refrigerator, a brick oven/wall, dried chili peppers and lavender. If you are a wine-connoisseur, you will be happy to learn that there is a fine wine selection available as well. The place is on the smaller more intimate side, but in the midst of Hell’s Kitchen, Capizzi feels like home.
Having worked within the restaurant business his whole life, Joe owns a few other Italian restaurants between Hell’s Kitchen and Staten Island. Joe keeps family tradition alive through authentic recipes passed down from his father and his father before that. They even let guests go behind and help make the pizza pies. Yup, it’s one of those cool pizzerias where the chefs make the pizza dough, toss it up into the air, and catch it with on hand behind their back. I want to learn how to do this!I recommend getting a slice of everything, because everything is SO good!
Capizzi turns one year old this October, but has the feel of a 50-year-old business that has weathered the changes within Hell’s Kitchen. In a city like New York, with the hundreds and hundreds of pizza parlors and Italian restaurants – Capizzi is winning the stomachs and attention of not only the locals but the critics. Trip Advisor awarded this newbie with the Certificate of Excellency only 6 months after opening! Impressive. So, if you are looking to enjoy a little slice of Italy in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen/Times Square area, I recommend Capizzi. Bellissimo!