High-Falutin' Gluten-Free Pizza at Don Antonio
Domino's announced its gluten-free pizza on Monday morning (which I reviewed Monday night), so I figured I'd bookend the week with a look at some fancy-pants gluten-free pizza.
For at least a couple years now, Don Antonio's sister restaurant, Kesté, has been offering gluten-free pies—originally on Monday and Tuesdays only, but now that they're available all week long at Don Antonio, Kesté has followed suit.
Unlike most of the gluten-free pizza I've tried, the Don Antonio/Kesté pizza lacks the strange, overly starchy chewy-springiness that's reminiscent of a jumbo-size Communion wafer.
It's made from soy flour mixed with potato-, corn-, and rice starches and is instead soft and moist, but, yes, a little chewier and a dash more dense than what you'd want on a gluten-packed wheat-flour crust.
It's also worth noting this is wood-fired gluten-free pizza. That's not unique in all of pizzadom, but I do believe it *is* unique for NYC. (Please correct me in the comments if I'm wrong.) So you get a nice bit of charring on the crust. Though because the flavor of the crust itself is very subtle, the charring tends to stand out if it's especially heavy in places.
For the most part, though, any off notes are masked by the superb tomato sauce and creamy fresh mozzarella. I'm not celiac and I wouldn't say I'd eat this in place of a wheat-flour pizza if given a choice, but it's pretty tasty on its own and was actually better than some wheat-flour Margherita pizzas I've had in my time.
You may recall that though Domino's offers a gluten-free pizza, it places big-ass disclaimers on its website about possible wheat-flour cross-contamination (because it's all made in the same kitchen). At Don Antonio and Kesté owner Roberto Caporuscio says, the gluten-free dough is made in a separate area, is stretched on a separate workbench, and gets fired in a special part of the wood-fired oven reserved for GF pies. "We don't mess around," he says, "It can be very bad to mix the two."
Don Antonio has five types of gluten-free pizzas: Margherita ($16), marinara ($15), mast'nicola ($15), prosciutto and arugula ($19), and Margherita with salami ($17).
If some folks were rejoicing about the Domino's gluten-free pie, this one would have them doing backflips.