Pizza was good, pasta was better, desserts were wonderful.
This is no ordinary oven, but a wood-fired Stefano Ferrara oven imported from Italy. With its round shape and gorgeous tile work, it’s almost a work of art, but it’s got a job to do — cook Neapolitan-style pizzas in a minute and a half. You can do this when the oven’s set at 900 degrees.
All three pizzas we sampled were commendable, if a touch undercooked. The Margherita ($13), with crushed tomato, fior di latte (mozzarella made from cows) and basil, is a simple, straightforward pizza. The Funghi ($14) is white pizza with a mushroom ragu and bufala mozzarella (made from water buffalo). The Tartufi ($14) is loaded with toppings — sausage, mushrooms, fior di latte and truffle oil. The toppings and cheese all tasted top-notch; Pizza Vita uses imported Italian olive oil, flour, mozzarella, parmesan, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and sea salt. The good stuff.
Good pizza, but the pastas turned out better. The Casa Nonna ($14), with cavatelli, crushed tomato sauce and ricotta would make grandma happy. Everyone does cheese ravioli; Pizza Vita offers Sunday Ravi ($16), pork-and-beef-stuffed ravioli topped with a plum tomato sauce. My favorite pasta: the Polpette ($15), spaghetti with meltingly soft meatballs.
With DiBiase’s pastry background, dessert is a must. I cringe whenever I see the words “world famous,” on a menu or storefront, but the “world famous coconut cream pie” ($8) is light and luscious. Call the chocolate-filled doughnuts ($8) mini-zeppoles, only immeasurably better. DiBiase makes her own gelato ($6); the espresso gelato is a treat.
He likes it
7 Union Place, Summit; (908) 277-1400, pizzavitanj.com