Author Topic: A Pizz Montclair NJ  (Read 1378 times)

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Offline JConk007

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A Pizz Montclair NJ
« on: September 16, 2011, 07:00:04 PM »
I needed some more dough trays so I reached out for my favorite tray maker Mike Madan of Madan Plastics. He makes the artisan trays that fit in a starndard fridge and full size trays for all of Papa Johns and Dominos 1000's a week ! Anyway  he is also a pizza nut like me so we agreed to Meet at A Pizz in Montclair for some Neapolitan Pizza ( no I never get enough! ) Niether one of us had ever been. The Place is beautiful very open and airy and Just right size and space. The cornerstone Staphano Ferarro Oven greets your eyes as you walk in. Very comfortable and yes GREAT pizza! The owner Chris came out because he heard I was taking a few pics and poking around. Seemed a bit concrened He  said someone had recently copied his resturant exactly and people are allways stealing ideas and such. He  told us not to put pics on web... but when he saw the pics  I was showing Micheal of Flirting with Fire and the I phone library of pics Mike keeps from his pizza journeys, cHRIS  realized we were no harm, and thE fun began. He even made our pizza for us! Then we got into the Pizza talk ..... by the end of our lunch  Mike was showing him the Artisan size dough trays from Dough Mate (which he already uses the  full size) and  I am going to get him some GI tools, Christipher Called me later in the day  we already spoke on the phone about doing  some mobile events and BIG festivals together with my mobile his name of course this fall. How cool!  Great guy and very Passionate about Pizza. There was talk of opening in Bergen county if he can find a space??? You never know what any given day will bring  ;D And as I have said I am still a firm beiliever that  great pizza, brings people together!

Oh yeah The pizza- By the way This place is Fully VPN certified as well. #355
It was top notch Not 100% caputo but very close, and only becuase the Jerseyites still just dont get the whole neapolitan thing  ??? #1 the basic milestone for me the classic Margherita  was wonderful light and soft crispy smallish coricione, Nice fresh tomatoes and homemade Mozz as well.
#2 blew me away ! Fresh Bufalo Mozz., Smoked Mozz. , Yellow cherry tomatoes, arrugula and the kicker, a swirl of Honey ! I have never had this combo but Man great stuff. Deliciouso!
 Really looking forward to the future potential of this new relationship
  and yes I'll be back!THANKS CHRISTOPHER!
John
« Last Edit: September 16, 2011, 07:21:21 PM by JConk007 »
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Offline tommy

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Re: A Pizz Montclair NJ
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2011, 07:46:48 PM »
Didn't he essentially copy A Mano exactly?!?   ;D

They do a nice job here.  Where in Bergen was he thinking?  It would be odd to open anywhere near A Mano, as, as you suggest, people still don't get it. 

Offline JConk007

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Re: A Pizz Montclair NJ
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2011, 10:08:30 PM »
Not a  really copy of Amano He has only 1 oven and its a stephano. and a lot less sq ft.
opening in Nutley and looking for spot in B county Yes tough  to compete with Amano, they have a nice product.
Where you at tommy?
John
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Offline tommy

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Re: A Pizz Montclair NJ
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2011, 09:25:50 AM »
The menu reads almost exactly the same.  When I say 'copy' I mean menu, style, etc.   Not necessarily the type or number of ovens or size of the floor.

From what I understand he worked at A Mano.  Kind of hard to get upset that someone stole his concept when he heavily lifted from A Mano.  And even if he didn't work at A Mano, of course, this concept is springing up all over, so I doubt that someone could really take ownership of the concept of a Neapolitan-style pizza place serving some salads, calzones, and a dessert pizza with Nutella. 

I live closer to A Mano so I end up there more often than A Pizz, but I do get down to A Pizz every so often, and have turned some friends on to the place, who love it. 

Here are my thoughts from last year: http://www.tommyeats.com/tommyeats/2010/05/ah-pizz-montclair-nj.html

Offline JConk007

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Re: A Pizz Montclair NJ
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2011, 01:19:28 PM »
Tommy Very cool review and Blog? I would love to speak with you at some point when you have a chance.
I did not see Vesta Pizza and Bar in east rutherford on the list I would like your thoughts on that>

He has 2 Stephano ovens, and has  worked at amono. However he does not make a Neapolitan he makes a NY style that the locals want.
Thanks
John
I Love to Flirt with Fire! www.flirtingwithfirepizza.com

Offline tommy

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Re: A Pizz Montclair NJ
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2011, 02:07:20 PM »
Ah, so the guy at Vesta worked at A Mano?  I might have gotten confused.  Apologies to Christopher at Ah'Pizz if that's the case (although my points about that model still stand). 

I sat down at Vesta a few weeks into their opening, and had to walk out.  The service was atrocious.  The place did not have its sh*t together.  I've never walked out of a restaurant in my life (and I've suffered through some really horrible meals), but this place was just wrong on every point, and I didn't see it getting any better.

The pizza looked NY-style (Grimaldi's, et al), which isn't generally my liking, and I walked away confident that I wasn't missing much. 

Perhaps they've gotten the operation in order by now and I should revisit. 

Offline JConk007

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Re: A Pizz Montclair NJ
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2011, 05:35:13 PM »
ok more confusion, Christohers pizza man also worked at Amano. I think its robert and he trained with Roberto Frank over at Vesta same story.
Please give them another chance over at Vesta well settled in now Frank is a really down to earth guy
Christopher although making a really great pizza, can be found on another planet at times .? Just kidding  ;)very cool as well, but fast talker.
thanks
John
« Last Edit: September 28, 2011, 05:37:11 PM by JConk007 »
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Offline scott123

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Re: A Pizz Montclair NJ
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2011, 06:53:33 PM »
John, I'm glad that Christopher was nice to you and I'm sure the pizza was good (I don't get to Montclair much, so I haven't tried it yet), but it still doesn't completely remove the bad taste that this interaction left in my mouth.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8872.0.html
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11821.msg111218.html#msg111218

Cliff notes:

Robert from Ah'Pizz: I trained with Roberto
Roberto: Uh, no, you didn't

Offline Essen1

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Re: A Pizz Montclair NJ
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2011, 08:55:17 PM »
I needed some more dough trays so I reached out for my favorite tray maker Mike Madan of Madan Plastics. He makes the artisan trays that fit in a standard fridge...

John,

Thanks for posting the info.

I googled Madan Plastics and just bought the dough tray kit. I have been looking for ages to find pro dough boxes that will fit my fridge besides the standard ones. These trays will do.
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

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Offline scott r

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Re: A Pizz Montclair NJ
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2011, 03:13:37 PM »
Ah, so the guy at Vesta worked at A Mano?  I might have gotten confused.  Apologies to Christopher at Ah'Pizz if that's the case (although my points about that model still stand).  

I sat down at Vesta a few weeks into their opening, and had to walk out.  The service was atrocious.  The place did not have its sh*t together.  I've never walked out of a restaurant in my life (and I've suffered through some really horrible meals), but this place was just wrong on every point, and I didn't see it getting any better.

The pizza looked NY-style (Grimaldi's, et al), which isn't generally my liking, and I walked away confident that I wasn't missing much.  

Perhaps they've gotten the operation in order by now and I should revisit.  

Tommy, there is no excuse for bad service, but I also think you should give vesta another try, especially considering your bad service happened during the opening weeks.   Its a shame you didn't try the pizza, because it should be pretty good!  Yes frank did work at amano and learned those techniques, but after experimenting he realized that his ideal pizza was different..  He was looking for something a little closer to the Ny coal oven pizza, but not totally there.     I think that you should find that its quite a bit better than grimaldi's.   Right off the bat I can tell you that the dough is undergoing more than double the grimaldi's (or even amanos) fermentation time, so this dough should have way more flavor.  His pietroberto diving arm mixer and his other dough protocol are making a texture that is definitely above the masses, and certainly miles ahead of what grimaldis is doing with a hobart.   On top of that frank is not done moving forward and is right now experimenting with wild yeast which could push it even further over the edge.   I have used the grimaldi's tomatoes, as well as what is being used at vesta, and I can assure you there is no comparison, but even more than that frank is doing some really nice touches with how he seasons them.    Top that off with house pulled mozzarella, some of the best ovens in the world, and the neapolitan "nothing but the best quality ingredients" mentality and I am pretty sure you are going to like this pizza better than any of the other coal oven joints in town.   If you only like 100% authentic neapolitan...well, then,  this is not going to be quite right for you, but it is a very nice middle ground between a top shelf neapolitan pizzeria and the best of the coal oven spots.  
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 08:19:38 PM by scott r »


Offline Jet_deck

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Re: A Pizz Montclair NJ
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2011, 04:00:34 PM »
.... we already spoke on the phone about doing  some mobile events and BIG festivals together with my mobile his name of course this fall.
John

Sounds like a great time.  Did you spy his mixer?  Curious as to what he is using...
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Offline tommy

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Re: A Pizz Montclair NJ
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2011, 04:38:11 PM »
Tommy, there is no excuse for bad service, but I also think you should give vesta another try, especially considering your bad service happened during the opening weeks.   
You guys have convinced me to give Vesta another try.  On the way out, someone who I think was one of the owners stopped me to try to sort everything out. Not sure who it was, but in his defense, he was really nice and apologetic, which says a lot. 

I like all types of pizza.  But the dough looked lifeless and dry.  That was only based on a quick glance at another table.  I'll give it a another shot.