Tag Archives: pizzeria


A wild hybrid that marries the best of both classic Neapolitan pizza and old school NYC/Brooklyn pizza, Razza in Jersey City is the kind of place where you just can’t stop eating.

The dough is bubble-charred, puffy and light, like Neapolitan pizza. But the formal requirements of noted Neapolitan rigor are quickly dispensed with and cast aside (San Marzano tomatoes, wheat flour, bufala mozz, etc).

Instead, chef/owner Dan Richer, who has been honing his pizza skills for 15 years, pulls ingredients from high quality local produce purveyors and makes a great deal of his own shit right there on site. “I’m not even close to being done,” he says of perfecting his craft.

If this is only the rising action in the first act, then I can’t wait for the denouement.

The tomatoes are bright, and left largely unadulterated. The cheese is fresh, smooth and creamy. The dough is airy yet crisp from crust to point, showing some backbone on the bottom: Like it’s New York neighbor, it doesn’t flop in the center. This magically allows the toppings to seem as if they’re suspended atop a pillow of edible air.

The crust also takes on a unique grey coloring from being allowed to cook a bit longer at a slightly cooler wood oven temperature than its motherland-cousin from Naples.

Neapolitan pies get real hot real fast. This allows a yeasty aroma to linger in the resulting khaki-colored, leopard-spotted crust, retaining a somewhat more chewy and more dense texture. Could that be called medium rare dough? Perhaps. Anyway the difference here may be slight in execution, but it is noticeable in appearance and flavor.

There’s also none of that soupy sauce or pooled melted cheese that can sometimes weigh heavy both in the center of a Neapolitan pie and in your belly after you eat it. To the contrary I felt light even after eating an entire pie’s worth of pizza all by myself. I could’ve easily had two more, but there was a steak dinner to be had nearby at Liberty Prime. I had to conserve stomach space.

In any case three of us each ate a third of three pies (two slices of each, each). We started with the Margherita, had a mid course of Fungi, and then a dessert of Burrata. I’m hard pressed to choose a favorite among these, but I think that last one left me floating. That deliciously silky burrata with tomato, olive oil and sliced garlic…

I’m fairly certain this is my new favorite pizza joint, possibly squeaking just ahead of the Coney Island stronghold Totonno’s. You really need to get over here to try this shit. But if my words and images don’t convince you to make the trip out here for this pizza, maybe Phil Rosenthal will. It was featured on  the Netflix show “Somebody Feed Phil.”

Check it out:

275 Grove Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302

PQR Pizza

When my wife and I were in Italy, we went bonkers for Bonci Pizzarium near the Vatican, and we’ve been craving it ever since. A brand new pizza joint on the upper east side, PQR, brought me right back there.

I have to say this is one of my new favorite spots in the city. Roman style pizza just works on so many levels. If you’ve never had it before, this is an exemplary representation. The dough/crust is perfectly crisp yet puffy and airy, and they’re generous with their high quality toppings.

Get the spicy soppressata with grape tomato and the sliced potato with truffle sauce. You’ll thank me later.

Spicy Soppressata:

Sliced Potato & Truffle:

Sliced Potato & Porchetta:

Traditional Mozz & Tomato Sauce:

1631 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10028

San Matteo Pizza

San Matteo is a Neapolitan style pizzeria and restaurant on the Upper East Side. Neapolitan style pizza is characterized by a puffy and doughy crust with, generally, pure and simple ingredients on top. See below:

This style of pizza isn’t crispy with a crunchy bottom like NYC style pizza, but I assure you that it’s still awesome. That was the Margherita Regina pie, $18. They have daily special pies too, like this pesto and spicy coppa pie.

Their meat and cheese boards are pretty incredible too:

After eating this delicious stuff, I was surprised that I had room for dessert: profiteroles.

UPDATE 6/2/18

On a second visit, I came in to test a new burger that the owner Fabio was formulating for a competition (Burger Bash). The thing was amazing. Piedmontese beef in a 70/30 lean/fat ratio, topped with Blue Moon beer caramelized onions, radicchio, and lots of gooey and funky taleggio cheese. It was all housed in a freshly baked ciabatta bun, right from the pizza oven.

We also enjoyed numerous Aperol spritzes at the bar.

Some salumi:

An incredible porchetta and arugula sandwich:

Eggplant parm:

The meat you get in the pork chop Milanese, which is one of the best I’ve had, is raised on chef/owner Fabio’s farm.

And of course more pizza:

This one had guanciale on it:

Fabio even made us a nice risotto dish with fresh porcini mushrooms, mixed up right in a cheese wheel:

I really love this place – such amazing Italian food.

They serve up some great LaFrieda steaks too.

And my favorite arancini rice ball of all time.

1559 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10028

Capizzi Pizzeria Italiana

I recently became aware of Capizzi when I was invited for a couple of press dinners. It is situated right between my wife and my work places, so it was an easy spot to try out on a whim.

This cozy little joint is tucked away under the bridge on 9th Avenue at Port Authority.


When you walk in, you feel like you’re at someone’s house that has been temporarily transformed into a dining room. The old tube TV and the floor-standing, old timey radio have been moved aside to make room for guests. They even have and old school fridge and ice box along the cabinetry on one side of the room…


…and dried peppers hanging from the ceiling, just like at grandma’s house.


Which they crush into their own house crushed red pepper, served alongside dried oregano that is still on the stems. Just like home!


By 6pm on the Friday before Memorial Day, when people are itching to vacate the city, this place was already jumping WITH A LINE OUT THE DOOR AND DOWN THE STREET. Completely full. Wow!


The plates mirror this cozy home feeling, and it’s no wonder Capizzi was jammed up from such an early time… because everything was awesome. And it boasts an extensive Wine selection for all you wine drinking folks out there. In my two visits, I got to taste pretty much all their wines by the glass. The montepulciano, nero d’avola, lambrusco, chianti, and muscato were all great.


Our waiter Andre started us off with a couple of glasses of sangiovese on our first visit, which is one of my favorite varietals. The cool thing about the second visit was that he was there again, but this time just visiting on his off-day to say hello to friends, which I thought was pretty cool. He remembered us too! Great guy. On the second trip we had the pleasure of being served by Sami as our waitress, and Javier as bus boy. Service here is impeccable! Javier was fast, attentive, and very nice. Sami was a sweetheart, and made excellent suggestions for what to order. The people running Capizzi definitely know how to choose good quality staff.


We had a plate of soft, tasty burrata cheese that was garnished with basil, artichoke hearts, sliced grape tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and prosciutto – all lightly drizzled with olive oil. It was excellent. Simple and delicious.



Next came the antipasto misto: a plate of Italian meats, cheese, olives, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and eggplant. A nice way to double down on our starter plate. As you can see in the pic, Andre again served us from the main plate. Top notch service here!



The antipasto came with a basket of toasted, lightly cheesed flatbread. Naked pizza, if you will. Really airy and crispy. We took this home with us since we couldn’t finish it all, and wanted to save room for pizza.




On trip number two we tried two salads – HUGE portion sizes. Definitely can split these. These were both very simple dishes that showcased incredible, fresh ingredients. In the first case, cucumber, roasted red peppers, and really top quality olive oil.


The other salad was a simple, refreshing fennel and orange salad. Again massive portion size, and very tasty.


Then comes the pizza. We ordered a regular Margherita pie with some arugula and prosciutto on top. The pie was doughy yet crisped and lightly charred on the surfaces and crust. This kind of perfection can only be achieved with an authentic wood burning brick oven.


The sauce was deftly applied with just the right volume and ratio to the crust and cheese. It had a very slight sweetness to it, which was cut nicely by the peppery arugula and salty prosciutto. The cheese was fresh and melty, and on top there was some fresh grated parmesan cheese for that earthy kick. We devoured every bite of this masterpiece.



On a second visit we tried two pies. First the margherita pie – your basic cheese and sauce pizza. It was fucking PERFECT. Words escape me right now as I try to describe it. It was crisp, yet soft. It was savory, fresh, and juicy from point to crust. Honestly this is now my favorite pizza in New York, and I grew up a spoiled pizza brat.




The other pie we tried was on special for the night, and was topped with speck, prosciutto, arugula and mozzarella. This was really great. In fact, pretty much every pizza on the menu sounds enticing. My wife and I plan to move back into the city this summer, and this area is one of or top choices for location. Needless to say, Capizzi will be our go-to pizza joint, no question. Look at how amazing the pizza is…


We finished off the meal with my wife’s favorite classic dessert, tiramisu, on our first visit. It was good – nice and light, not too boozy; a great ending to a wonderful meal.



On the second visit, we took advice from our waitress Sami to try the Oreo truffle cannoli. She hit the nail on the head. It was just the right amount of sweet without being overpowering. It was flavorfully unique, but with enough tribute paid to the classic cannoli dessert not to offend any traditionalist sensibilities. And as always, the plating was beautiful to boot.


As a pizza aficionado, I definitely recommend this place to those looking for a great pie (no single slices here – for that you need to go to Saluggis). Do yourself a favor and go here ASAP. I think for sit-down, full-pie pizza, this is absolutely my new favorite place to go.

An interesting side note about this place:

“They got an old-fashion’ toilet… You know… The box, and, and, and, ah the chain-thing… We might be able to tape the gun behind it.”

– Tessio

chain toilet capizzi

547 9th Ave
New York, NY 10018