New York Magazine’s first look at Caffè Napoletana, our Italian coffee shop open Saturday mornings at Una Pizza Napoletana.
For 20 years, Anthony Mangieri’s name has been synonymous with a monastic devotion to dough. At Una Pizza Napoletana, he became famous for his hand-mixed, wild-fermented crusts and super-puffed corniciones, but he maintains other interests as well. For example, he enjoys coffee.
When Mangieri was younger, he’d meet his friends at Italian social clubs in northern New Jersey. “The espresso was great, but nothing else was,” he says. “It was more of a hangout for guys to gamble in the back room, smoke cigarettes, and curse at each other.” But somewhere between those smoke-filled social clubs and numerous trips to Italy, Mangieri built up his caffeine tolerance and became a coffee authority too. “I’m sometimes having eight shots a day,” he says. “When you drink an espresso that’s pulled correctly with coffee beans that are roasted in the Italian way” — dark, not burnt — “I think it’s one of the most beautiful experiences you can have in your day.”
There is arguably too much coffee in New York, but, as Mangieri sees it, it is still very difficult to find that particularly Italian experience here, so beginning this weekend, he’s transforming Una Pizza Napoletana into a Saturday-only coffee counter called Caffè Napoletana. As with the pizzeria, the menu will be limited and attention will be paid to the smallest of details. Snack cakes come from Italy. Orange juice, or sometimes a mix of citrus like cara cara and Meyer lemon, will be made to order. (“Not ‘fresh-squeezed’ at 7 in the morning before we open,” Mangieri clarifies.) And there will be espresso, or, if you’d like, cappuccino. Mangieri will also offer his espresso con panna, which is to say topped with a bit of whipped cream, but please go elsewhere for pour-over or cold brew.