High-quality Neapolitan pizza with a distinctive New York vibe.
I once had a friend who claimed she had regular cravings for "artisan pizza." I think this terminology was meant to distinguish pizza with bubbly pockets of air drizzled with truffle oil from drunk Artichoke Pizza or late night Dominos, but it always struck me as peculiar. Did she want thin crust pizza with gourmet, high-end toppings like burrata and white truffles? Or would she be okay with a simple margherita pizza as long as the ingredients came straight from the hand of an Italian farmer? Or was she really after a certain atmosphere that had nothing to do with the artisinal production of food, but rather just felt a lot nicer than Famous Original Ray’s? I literally never knew.
Regardless, she would have loved Prova, where she could have gotten all of that and more. At Donatella Arpaia’s newest restaurant in Chelsea, classic Neapolitan-style pizzas like the Margherita with San Marzano peeled tomatoes and creamy mozzarella share the menu with more out-of-the-box offerings like the Uni-ca pizza with pecorino romano, sea urchin, squid’s ink, mint, and lemon zest.
Charcuterie, cheeses, salads, and a few sweets provide nibbles before and after the pizzas, whose thin, charcoal dusted bottoms and soft, doughy crusts are truly excellent marriages of New York-style flavor profiles and Naples-style techniques and traditions. The eponymous Prova pizza features a zucchini puree that resembles a pesto, supple slices of speck, imported burrata cheese for extra creaminess, parmigiano reggiano, and a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for a completely luxurious slice.
The Capricciosa pizza is also a delicious union of high-quality ingredients like san marzano tomatoes, proscuitto cotto, artichokes, mushrooms, gaeta olives, and mozzarella. The pizza is rich, warm, and perfectly blistered from the scorching wood-burning pizza in the back of the cozy, but vibrant space.
Like Marta, Motorino, and Co., some of my other favorite contemporary pizza joints in the city, Prova’s service is swift yet charming, diligently working the warm and rustic space in order to provide handcrafted, exceptional pizzas that will satisfy that "artisinal" craving we all apparently have in this fine city.