A Mano — Ridgewood, New Jersey

Real Neapolitan pizza? Yes. Yes! That’s all that is important. Oh, the other stuff is fine. Nice gelato, the espresso is good (the machine is obviously cleaned occasionally), and the sides are good. But there is no reason to eat at this place other than the pizza. I just had two pizzas, the first a plain Margharita that was excellent. Just enough cheese and tomato as a counterpoint to the almost perfect crust. A bit of char, a bit of crunch, a bit of softness, and what do you have? Pizza excellence. The other pizza was a special that was a real winner. Artichokes (marinated in vinegar), Italian ham, a bit of basil, all on a bed of mozzarella. The subtle tartness of the artichoke was balanced by the sweetness of the dough and the richness of the cheese and ham. This was an interesting and wildly successful variation, and one that I hope gets promoted to the regular menu.

The Pizzaioli is a young kid, straight from Naples, who doesn’t speak more than a few words of English, but that’s okay because he makes wonderful pizza. I plan on eating more of his creations, and will report breathlessly on each one.

6 Replies to “A Mano — Ridgewood, New Jersey”

  1. I am SO glad you finally got over there and that you agree…this is some DAMN. GOOD. STUFF.
    Believe it or not, you need to try the meatballs (app)…they’re Roberto’s MAMA’S recipe. OMG. We were fighting the kids at the table for them.

    And if you haven’t heard/read, Roberto (the original pizzaolo who trained-and recently REtrained-the staff at A Mano) has opened a place in the city: http://www.kestepizzeria.com You’ll see lots of similarities in the menu between A Mano and Keste, because both were Roberto’s creation!

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