Leading Ribalta is a pizza dream team who have already made their reputation in New York City's pizza world and are dedicated to providing the most delicious, fun, and truly Neapolitan pizza experience in the city: Rosario Procino, former founder of Keste pizzeria, and Chef Pasquale Cozzolino, former Executive Chef at Dellaroccos in Brooklyn Heights and Pizza Arte. For Procino and Cozzolino, Neapolitan pizza is more than a method of making pizza that’s taught in Naples. It’s a complete dining experience that’s reflective of the Italian city’s rich, unique and vibrant culture.
Much has been made of the subject in the NYC dining news, but under Procino and Cozzolino, Ribalta is the only pizza restaurant in the city run and staffed by Neapolitan front of house and chefs/ pizzaiolos. “Pizza was our first food,” says Procino, “ We didn’t really have to learn about it- it’s so basic and essential to our lives.” And with their superior skills noted while they were at Keste and Pizza Arte, New Yorkers agree that these two individuals are a beloved part of the American pizza experience.
What makes the pizza experience different, and exceptional, under Procino and Cozzolino?
Ribalta has a special relationship with an Italian mill that handcrafts “Le 5 Stagioni” flour blend. Chef Cozzolino brought from Italy a piece of this “natural yeast,” which has gone through a regeneration process every three days for the last 80 years. The chef uses this original piece of dough to continue this Italian regeneration tradition inside the walls of Ribalta. The result is a lighter, more balanced pizza, made through a process that is authentically Neapolitan and not replicated anywhere else in New York.
Contrary to popular belief, Rosario and Pasquale do not believe that toppings have anything to do with whether a pizza can be considered authentically Neapolitan. The standards are strict about yeast, dough, maturation, and method- but when it comes to the ingredients for toppings, Neapolitans, like their city, have always shown their creative sensibilities, and willingness to experiment and have fun. While the new Ribalta menu includes a section that features more traditional Neapolitan pizza toppings, diners also have the opportunity to add their own preferences by creating their own pizza, from a list a selected ingredients by Procino and Cozzolino.
Owned and operated by Italians dedicated to the craft and art of Italian cuisine as well as the creativity, the communality and the gregariousness of their native Naples, all this can now be found on E 12st Street in the heart of Greenwich Village.