Prova Pizza maybe opened like yesterday, but this (cursed?) Chelsea space has had a lot of pizza turnovers in the last few years- even with Food Network star Donatella Arpaias at the face of it. What they do have here is some of the best crust in town, and a pizza oven that they like to show off in the back corner. Every time this space is written about, this custom built Stefano Ferrara oven receives just as much press if not more than the actual menu. Prova only has pizzas, cheese plates and salads at the moment, but Donatella made a point to tell us that since her partner is from Sushi Nakazawa, they will be adding a raw bar and lots of fish to the menu such as scallops in the coming weeks. This will be interesting because it seems like it will be a different vision from the pizza parlor that it currently seems to be.
My favorite pie was actually the classic DOP which is basically their Margerita but it has Mozzarella di Bufala, Basil and Tomato Sauce. The tomato sauce couldn’t be any better and the flavor is rich and just right. We also tried two pizzas from the “Pizza Nuova” side of the menu which are more unique and non traditional. The Urcina is made with squid ink and sea urchin ($29). It was much better than I thought it would be, but it’s not something you really crave when you want pizza. My favorite part about it was actually the squid ink. The dough and crust, again, are so fluffy and you won’t leave any of those ends on your plate for the waiter to clear. We then tried a pizza with ricotta, saffron, mint and zucchini. Lets just say it didn’t do much for us. The DOP was the favored order, and I think I could have eaten the whole thing by myself. I definitely rank this one as one of the top tomato, mozzarella and basil pizzas in the city and something I’d look forward to having again.
The sad thing about Prova is that the vibe is completely nonexistent. There is nothing that pops except some great Chromeo tunes. Therefore, it’s not a destination, but an ideal neighborhood spot. For those Chelsea goers, it’s the kind of place you will go when you don’t want to travel far or don’t really know where else to go. The pizza is great, don’t get me wrong, but the place is not entertaining or exciting enough to make it a destination.