Razza Pizza Artigianale is an intimate pizzeria in Jersey City that serves up some mean artisanal wood fired pies. Chef and owner, Dan Richer, opened up the restaurant in 2012, and it has made a splash in the New Jersey culinary scene, epitomized with a three-star review by the New York Times with “Is New York’s Best Pizza in Jersey City?”
We stopped by on a surprisingly warm March night (pre Covid-19) drama to be greeted by a smiling hostess and 90 minute wait. Forty five minutes later the “You’re table is ready” text came in, and we downed our beers at Barcade not wanting to miss our chance for some pizza.
As soon as we sat down, Jeremy ordered an Old Fashion while I got a Manhattan, and they were the best cocktails I’ve had in a long time. The Manhattan had the perfect balance of whiskey to sweet vermouth and bitters, making for a strong, yet drinkable cocktail.
In mulling over the menu, I was taken aback by the fact bread and butter cost $4.50. Every ounce of my frugal being wanted to say no, but the waiter convinced us we would want the bread to sop of the sauce from our meatball appetizer.
He was right.
The meatballs themselves were decent, but needed a bit of fresh herb. The sauce, however, was something special with thick, chunky, stewed tomatoes perfectly seasoned with herbs and spices to create a warm, cozy flavor profile. We greedily dunked the sourdough until the last drop was sopped up without even questioning that $4.50 price tag.
The pizza came soon after, and we marveled at the thick, charred crust surrounding scattered ovals of melted mozzarella sprinkled with basil. The sauce, cheese, and basil were fresh and satisfying, but the wood-fired sourdough crust is what made it special; it was nicely charred with an ever so subtle burnt flavor and the perfect, thin texture.
I’ll be honest and say the pizza was tasty, but the thought “best pizza ever” didn’t pop up once. With that being said, we admittedly dropped the ball by sticking to a classic Margherita, and the food envy of passing pies loaded up with meats and greens was real.
The meal wasn’t frugal nor did it break the bank, and forgoing the cocktails would have been the financially savvy decision. Alas, sometimes a day just calls for a good, stiff drink.
Polpette Al Forno: $12
Razza Pizza Artigianale has an undoubtedly good product, and if you find yourself in Jersey City, it’s certainly worthwhile!
Razza Pizza Artigianale is still open for take out orders! Support local business and consider getting a pie to go to brighten your day!