[Jersey City NJ – September 17 2019]
While New York gets all the credit for the best pizza outside of Italy, the fact is, Jersey has pizza just as good, if not better. In fact, people literally cross state lines to taste the pizza at Razza in Jersey City.
New Jersey has more Italians than any other state in the union. So it makes sense, they have the best pizza. The owner of Razza also owns Arturo’s in Maplewood, which is also on my Top 10 pizza places I’ve ever been to. It is not a “pizza joint”, so there is no slices sold here.
The bread, olive oil and charcuterie are some of the best I’ve ever had. Even the available wines off their list are good (I’ve become a bit of a wine snob over the years), and it is good to see they can sell a decent wine for simple food at a reasonable price. They have classic and signature cocktails as well, but for me, there is nothing else to drink with pizza except wine. I make exceptions for beer on a hot day, or soda for those who can’t have alcohol, but wine will always be synonymous if you are dining in. Pizza at a pizza joint on the run is a different story. This is definitely a place to dine in, or out, as in outside on a seasonable day.
As you can see from the hardwood all around the indoor dining area, they are using a wood burning oven. There is no question for me, that a wood burning stove creates the best pizza. Brick oven is fine, but better if it is wood fired.
The kitchen is in the open, so you can see everything that is going on. You will not see pizzas sitting out in a glass case waiting to be sold. Everything is made to order.
There are no reservations, so you have to get here early, and even if you do, you will see people lining up at least a half hour prior to opening. This was the case a couple years ago, I can’t imagine how it is now in the midst of going on year two of a global pandemic. Outdoor dining is in, as there is a lot of circulating air. However, seating is limited. When did dining out become so difficult?
It is a shame that places so simple as this are such a rarity. So often we see these small places in big cities that are anxious to cater to everyone. The fact is, the smaller the menu, the easier it is to create a singular type of food, product and service, and be the very best at it.
Is this not the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?