Monday, December 31, 2012

Destination Pizza: Posto in Rhinebeck

Posted By on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 10:51 AM

The Morandi (Grana Padano, red onions, pistachios, and rosemary) pie at Posto Pizzeria
  • The Morandi (Grana Padano, red onions, pistachios, and rosemary) pie at Posto Pizzeria

Rich and Maya from Elephant suggested we try a pizza joint, Posto, that opened up recently in the courtyard off East Market Street in Rhinebeck. Lee Anne and I stopped in for a revelatory afternoon nosh a couple days ago.

The space is spare and unassuming, with a wood-fired brick oven (imported from Modena, Italy) behind the counter in one counter and a smattering of tables looking out on the courtyard. On our visit, we were the only patrons, so we struck up a conversation with the proprietor and pizza maker, Patrick Amadeo, a man who is serious about pizza.

Like the space, the menu is uncluttered—there are six basic pies, four salads, and some antipasti. Amadeo likes to keep things simple and focused, and the must-have pizza reflects this dedication.

We ordered a bottle of Orvieto from the small and reasonably priced wine list and the Morandi—Grana Padano cheese, red onions, pistachios, and rosemary (no tomato sauce)—which at first blush is an odd mix of ingredients, reminding me of a sweet potato-topped pizza I ate at Baba Louie's in Hudson. But don't let the quirky toppings fool you: This is ridiculously good pizza.

Two things about the Morandi: I could take or leave the pistachios. They were fine—nutty, crunchy, slightly blistered from the oven—but nonessential. What made us realize we were in the hands of an artisan, however, was the crust: light, almost flaky. This was the main event. Most pizza is served with an avalanche of toppings to disguise the inferior quality of its key ingredient—the bread. Amadeo strips away the nonessential ingredients to showcase his crust, achieving an almost ethereal lightness of texture and a lovely blistering from his 850-degree oven.

A Margherita pie cooking in the wood-fired oven
  • A Margherita pie cooking in the wood-fired oven

We then tried the Margherita, the standard pie you get a slice of in a any pizza joint. Tomato-y and cheesy as you would expect, it was a better slice than you'll find almost anywhere in the Hudson Valley, but I missed the bare crust of the Morandi with just some cheese and olive oil.

Amadeo is making very good pizza at Posto. You'll undoubtedly be hearing more about him, as he's only been open six weeks and word hasn't gotten out yet. Better hurry and get one of those few tables while you can, because once word gets out about this pizza, you may have trouble finding a seat at Posto.

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