Montclair, NJ 07042
- Cost: $$
- Alcohol: BYO
- Parking: Private Lot
July 20, 2013
Ah’ Pizz is one of three New Jersey restaurants serving “true Neapolitan pizza,“ as certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. I need to try A Mano, Massimo’s, or one of the newer Jersey spots serving Neapolitan pies in New Jersey.
Sorry to report that Ah’ Pizz might be slipping off its game. The comfortable dining room has expanded and was bustling on a recent summer Saturday for dinner. Much to my dismay, the pizza Napoletana (mozzarella di bufala, grape tomatoes, and garlic) we ordered arrived way too wet, with unripe (!) tomatoes and raw garlic. The crust was too thin to manage easily, and had none of the nice charred flavor I expected. The calzone we ordered also lacked the flavor one had on a previous visit. I fear the restaurant’s volume could be affecting the food coming out of the still impressive wood-burning oven. For now, I’m moving Ah’Pizz down to the “Worth a Visit” category.
Review – Sep 12, 2010
The artisanal pizza explosion across the river has reached NJ, complete with wood-burning ovens imported from Italy. Ah’ Pizz boasts of an oven that cooks a pie at 1000 degrees in 90 seconds. The oven, “created by Neapolitan artisans using stone and volcanic soil from famous Mount Vesuvius,” looks beautiful and sits in the middle of the small dining room for all to see. You can watch your individual pies being made and then gently placed in the furnace with the long pizza paddle. We timed ours. More like 190 seconds. Still incredibly fast, and the results are impressive.
The Neapolitan-style pies are oblong with a relatively thin, randomly charred crust. There is good flavor in the crust. (But not as much character as in the crusts that emerge from some older ovens that have cooked thousands more pies over the years.) A little crisp and a little chewy. The pie I ate – Margherita with anchovies – passed the fold and hold test. Fresh, premium ingredients make for delicious pizza. The San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, parmesan and extra virgin olive oil are nicely balanced, just the right amount of each. Everything we ordered was worth it – a large ricotta calzone cooked in the pizza oven and a Rice Ball appetizer. For dessert, there’s Nutella “pizza,” The chocolate/hazelnut spread between two warm layers of thin pizza dough, more like an Italian crepe. Indulge.
This is my favorite Neapolitan pie in Jersey.