Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ah' Pizz

It seems as if authentic Neopolitan pizzerias are opening all over New York. Some, as you might imagine, are not so authentic. Now, I've never been to Naples, but I just can't imagine some of these overly-doughy soggy-crust pies even remotely resembling those served in Naples.

But I think we have a winner in Montclair, NJ.  You may be thinking,"Do we really need another pizzeria in northern New Jersey?" If the place is Ah'Pizz--I think we do.  Business partners Michael La Morte, who runs the front of the house, and pizzaiola, Chris De Lisio believe they have found their niche.

They have set out to create a high end pizzeria serving Neopolitan pizza cooked in a Neopolitan brick oven using ingredients imported from Italy. The restaurant which has been open since April of this year, is a bright and unpretentious storefront with brick walls and floor to ceiling windows.

The night we met L and J there we were seated within five minutes, menus in hand and wine bottle opened. Of course, it was a holiday weekend, but if the pizza that we were served that night is any indication, I expect long lines once word gets out.

We each ordered salads, which were enormous.

This salad was a special that night, cucumber and tomatoes with a balsamic glaze. One of the salads, another special that night, was baby spinach in a mustard vinaigrette; and another a spring mix with fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers, and artichoke hearts tossed with a balsamic glaze. All were quite good.

All the pizzas were delicious. The crust is light--not too dense-- tender but still chewy. Cooking in a 1000 degree wood-burning oven gives the crust the perfect char. The Margherita was covered with  crushed San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano and basil. The Carciofi was topped with artichokes, fresh mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, and black olives--nice combination. But the favorite that night was the Gorgonzola pie topped with speck and dusted with Parmigiano Reggiano. Delicious!

As if that wasn't enough J said we had to have the nutella pizza for dessert.  I don't think so. But we had it anyway.

The dough hot from the oven was smeared with nutella, covered with banana slices, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Coffee. Done.

Ah' Pizz is open seven days a week. No reservations. BYOB. Take out, but no phone orders.  It is not inexpensive, but considering the quality ingredients and excellent pizza, it's worth it. Check out their website for more information.

In the inimitable words of Emma in Wilton Barnhardt's novel, Emma Who Saved My Life, "It is important in the daily diet to have one representative from each of the Four Food Groups. A caffeine, a sugar, a booze and a grease...."  Except for the grease, we did all that.


  1. The first certified Neapolitan pizzeria opened earlier this year in Nashville, and when the bakers are on their game, the pizza is thin, crispy-yet-chewy---marvelous. But there have been soggy crusted ones too. I suppose it's a fine line, in those searing ovens, between sloppy pizzas and perfection. Sounds like you all have a winner!

  2. I love that pizza oven. A Nutella pizza! Can that possibly be beaten? Is that a huge jar of Nutella or just the perspective of your shot? If so I daren't show it to my youngest, she may just burst at the thought of all that chocolate spread!

  3. Nacncy--I think we did find a winner. Let's just hope it stays that way and that the lines won't be too long!

    Kath--Absolutely that is a giant sized jar of Nutella. You might want to keep that information from your daughter. Even my husband, the chocolate hater, couldn't resist the nutella pizza.

  4. Of course, I meant Nancy not Nacncy.

  5. nutella, it looks so decadent!

    gorgeous brick oven.


  6. I just moved to New York and the only pizza I have had so far is Bleeker Street. If I make it out to NJ, I will have to keep this one in mind!

  7. Apples and Butter--you will find enough pizzerias in NYC to keep you happy for years. Enjoy your new adventure in New York.