Pete Genovese of the Star-Ledger visits Dan Richer's new place in Jersey City. The founder and co-owner of the acclaimed Arturo's in Maplewood wants to operate the best pizzeria in the world, in Jersey City.
Both pizzas we tried on a recent night — a margherita ($15), and a Farm Pie ($15) with fresh mozzarella, Jersey brussels sprouts, leeks and bacon emulsion — were terrific. Uber-fresh cheese, crisp crust, perfect char. No "soupy’’ anywhere to be found.
The ricotta crostini ($6) pairs standout bread with more silky, creamy cheese, and the fire-roasted meatballs (polpette al forno, $8) — are the kind of meatballs, and sauce, I’d happily greet the end of the world with.
Richer’s philosophy is fewer, simpler ingredients, but the homemade gnocchi with maitake, crimini and oyster mushrooms ($18) needed something — sauce, olive oil, herbs? — to raise it from the depths of bland.
The apple sauce ($7), made from Jersey apples, brown sugar and vanilla bean, is a creme brulee-like confection served on the chilled side, leaving us to wonder how wonderful it would have been warm.
275 Grove St. Jersey City; (201) 356-9348. Evenings only. Closed Tuesday.
Three blocks south of the Grove Street PATH, at the old Majestic Theater. Opposite the old time den of thieves.