Just after chowing down at Joe's, I walked all of 100 steps around the corner (no not to John's or Kesté but) to No. 28 on Carmine St.
After having eaten there, I read Aaron Landry's review from one of his visits to NYC and found my experience to be extremely similar to his. Upon entering, I was told I could sit anywhere- then I realized I was the only customer in the restaurant! I was brought a pitcher of ice water and a menu, which has three different Margherita pies. The Margherita Plain offers mozzarella, the Margherita Original comes with fresh mozzarella, and the Margherita Reginella has buffalo mozzarella. Hey No. 28: maybe just use fresh mozzarella so your Margherita Plain doesn't look like a bastard stepchild next to it's superior counterparts. Just a thought.
I ordered the Margherita Reginella.
I ordered the smallest serving, a 14" pie which is two inches bigger than your average Neapolitan. My initial reaction was critical of the sparse basil, low-risen cornicione, and extremely wet center, but I reminded myself that not every pie can be like those crafted by Mangieri and Palombino I had this past weekend.
That basil is swimming. I am embarrassed to admit this as a New Yoker, but I had to use a fork and knife to take the first couple bites out of each slice out of necessity. Afterward I could pick the slice up and go to town. Aside from my first feelings, the pizza was delicious and had a great undercrust.
I was only able to eat half the pizza after my visit to Joe's, but it was a fantastic pie. The service wasn't anything to write home about (it took 10 minutes to get noticed to ask for the check. Again, I was the only patron in there). Service aside, I would definitely go back- the pizza speaks for itself.