New York restaurant puts a delicious Dominican twist on pizza

You’ve probably never had pizza quite like this.

Stephen Rodriguez, also known as Chef Papi, has put a Dominican twist on the traditional Italian dish. Served at Brooklyn’s Caoba Lounge and Bistro, this tasty piece of cultural fusion is not for the faint of heart.

First, pizza dough is replaced with a giant tostonea twice-fried savory plantain. The massive plantain base is then topped with grilled chicken in penne vodka sauce, mozzarella and longanizaFor the uninitiated, it’s a spicy pork sausage eaten in the Dominican Republic and other nations that were former Spanish colonies. 

The loaded tostone is then placed in the oven, but Chef Papi isn’t done yet. Few Dominican meals are complete without a little fried cheese and salami. But this isn’t any old fried cheese. To make queso frito you need queso de freír or queso blanco. This mild but hearty cheese is always served fried and crispy brown. 

Next, it’s Dominican salami, a pre-cooked, cured meat that’s also fried for extra crispiness. Salami, queso frito, and mangú (boiled and mashed plantains) are actually the components of tres golpesthe standard breakfast in the Dominican Republic. So the pizza is actually an interesting marriage between a Dominican breakfast and Italian dinner. 

New Yorkers can order pickup or catering from Chef Papi’s virtual kitchen. Other familiar favorites with a Dominican twist include Dominican chimi tacosCitichef’s El Patio burger, and the Jarabacoa sushi roll. 

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