Author Topic: Bevacqua's Reservoir Tavern, Parsippany, New Jersey  (Read 1217 times)

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Online scott123

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Bevacqua's Reservoir Tavern, Parsippany, New Jersey
« on: March 23, 2013, 09:20:01 PM »
Reservoir Tavern is one of those places that gets a lot of press in newspapers and great word-of-mouth from the locals. After having John Conklin and Paulie Gee say good things about it, I've been meaning to go for months. I finally bit the bullet and got a take out pie.

I literally just finished inhaling six slices, and, while I might feel a bit different after I've thought about it a bit, here are my initial thoughts.

The kitchen is entirely out of view, so I can't really comment on bake time, stretching technique, or dough appearance. The crumb was moist, chewy and bready, almost like a good baguette. The thickness factor, as most reviews point out, is a little thick for typical New York style, but, because of the baguette quality, this didn't offend me as much as it normally would.

Have you ever seen an older dog attempt to bury it's 'business?' It means well, but that poo isn't ever getting buried. This pizza is permeated with good intentions, but most of the execution misses the mark. In all fairness, I did go on a Saturday night at 7:30, and it was so busy, I waited 45 min. for a take out pie. Still, though, I found a few features very frustrating. The oregano was centered in a circle about 1.5 inches in diameter– worse than any oregano toss that I've ever seen at pizza town, and they are pretty egregious offenders. The Romano was equally unevenly tossed. The three bites that actually contained Romano were amazing. The rest, not as much.

Other then the thickness factor, this is a close relative to pizza town and Pepe's– an incredibly simple approach. A tomato only sauce, mozz, Romano. Unlike the legends, though, who use tomatoes that are naturally sweet and delicious, these tomatoes are both a little tart and a little bitter. The whole pizza had a bit of a bitter quality. I think part of this was a smokiness imparted by a dirty oven, something that I generally appreciate, but, in this instance, tasted off– like the musty flavor of rancid flour.

As critical as I'm sounding, for this area, this is pretty good pizza. On a scale from 1 to 10, if pizza town is an 8 and the rest of the places are 4s, then I might go as high as a 5.5. As much as I was frustrated by certain features, I have to give it props for being unique and not being the same cookie cutter garbage everyone else is putting out.

It won't be any time soon, but I look forward to a return trip during a period that isn't so frantic and that I can hopefully get a pie made with a little more TLC. I am still camera–less, but if someone wants to see what these pizzas look like, the pizza I got tonight was a carbon copy of the pizza pictured in this Adam Kuban review from 3 years ago:

http://slice.seriouseats.com/images/20100816-rt-plain.jpg
http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/08/boonton-nj-solid-pizza-at-bevacquas-the-reservoir-tavern.html



Online jeff v

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Re: Bevacqua's Reservoir Tavern, Parsippany, New Jersey
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 09:43:49 PM »

The oregano was centered in a circle about 1.5 inches in diameter– worse than any oregano toss that I've ever seen at pizza town, and they are pretty egregious offenders.

Nice review. While it was full of quotables this one made me LOL. I nominate it for quote of the day/week.

Out of curiosity how are you weighting the tomatoes? If you give them a pass because of being busy would better tomatoes have made it a 7?

Offline dineomite

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Re: Bevacqua's Reservoir Tavern, Parsippany, New Jersey
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2013, 09:49:03 PM »
Totally agree, Scott. Every time I come down 287 I stop in. (Closed on Mondays, though.) Very good prices, too!

Offline JConk007

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Re: Bevacqua's Reservoir Tavern, Parsippany, New Jersey
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2013, 10:29:31 PM »
Scott Glad you got to try it ! Yes I love the pie there, one ofmy favorites You must go back there when it is not so busy ! Must - its a great Pie ! Does have a bigger rim cornicione than most and yes touch bready with thicker than NY thicknes Factor. I remeber a ways back when you said Pizza Town was Blah tooo ! :) you saw the light. wheres the cheese ?
John
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Offline tombiasi

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Re: Bevacqua's Reservoir Tavern, Parsippany, New Jersey
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2013, 10:41:47 PM »
"for this area, this is pretty good pizza"

What do you mean by "for this area, this is pretty good pizza" ?
Do you know this area?

Online scott123

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Re: Bevacqua's Reservoir Tavern, Parsippany, New Jersey
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2013, 10:59:52 PM »
What do you mean by "for this area, this is pretty good pizza" ?
Do you know this area?

Tom, when new members from New Jersey join, I normally post my location to their intro thread (you from joisey? I'm from joisey!  ;D ), but I just checked yours, and, while I did say hello, I dropped the ball on my location. I'm in Morristown.

I don't have John's pizzeria tasting credentials (yet ;) ), but I have been stepping up my sampling game and have probably hit close to 150 places in Morris County in the last six months– beyond growing up here and living in Manhattan for seven years.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Bevacqua's Reservoir Tavern, Parsippany, New Jersey
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2013, 11:08:01 PM »
"The oregano was centered in a circle about 1.5 inches in diameter– worse than any oregano toss that I've ever seen at pizza town, and they are pretty egregious offenders. "

I hate that bs......if you're too "busy and great" then jus don't damn bother man.
 >:(   concentrate on making the rest of the toppings even more all disheveled like you do... ::)
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Offline tombiasi

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Re: Bevacqua's Reservoir Tavern, Parsippany, New Jersey
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2013, 11:08:40 PM »
Tom, when new members from New Jersey join, I normally post my location to their intro thread (you from joisey? I'm from joisey!  ;D ), but I just checked yours, and, while I did say hello, I dropped the ball on my location. I'm in Morristown.

I don't have John's pizzeria tasting credentials (yet ;) ), but I have been stepping up my sampling game and have probably hit close to 150 places in Morris County in the last six months– beyond growing up here and living in Manhattan for seven years.


I'm from Jersey, not joisey. The only people I've heard say"joisey" are from Brooklyn.
FYI: This will be out tomorrow, or maybe you can get it now;  http://njmonthly.com/articles/restaurants/25-perfect-pizzas.html

Online scott123

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Re: Bevacqua's Reservoir Tavern, Parsippany, New Jersey
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2013, 11:24:45 PM »
Nice review. While it was full of quotables this one made me LOL. I nominate it for quote of the day/week.

Thanks, Jeff. FWIW, I take my oregano pretty seriously, as John will attest to from our Pizza Town discussions  ;D The fact that I'm bringing up my uneven oregano toss angst underlines the fact that I'm primarily directing this review towards locals. In other words, as of this moment, if someone were flying into New York for business, I would encourage them to make a trip to Pizza Town, but I'm not sure I'd encourage them to make the trip to Parsippany– at least, not after this single visit.

Out of curiosity how are you weighting the tomatoes? If you give them a pass because of being busy would better tomatoes have made it a 7?

That's a good question, Jeff. If, because of the busy hour, I gave them a pass on the uneven oregano and uneven Romano, if it would have been a better tomato, I'd probably go to an 8. It's a better quality dough then Pizza Town. If they can resolve this smoky issue (or I can get past it), this would, in theory, be better than pizza town. Unfortunately, whatever time of day I go, it will most likely always be this same tomato. Now, I should add, I am a bit biased towards sweeter tomatoes.

Online scott123

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Re: Bevacqua's Reservoir Tavern, Parsippany, New Jersey
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2013, 11:35:51 PM »
I remeber a ways back when you said Pizza Town was Blah tooo ! :)

Ha ha, too true. FWIW, though, Pizza Town had user error related issues. As I mentioned to Jeff, those tomatoes will probably always be the same. I will give it another try, though, and will keep a relatively open mind  ;D I have to admit, on the three bites that had Romano, I was blissfully unaware of the shortcomings of the tomatoes.

I've mentioned elsewhere that I don't feel that Romano should be mandatory for New York style pizza, but for this kind of incredibly simple, tomato only style sauce pie (Reservoir, Pizza Town, Pepe's) Romano is absolutely critical, with stinginess and/or uneven tosses being the kiss of death. From what I can tell, Pepe's is the only one that really gets the concept and goes heavy handed enough with the grated hard cheese.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 11:39:06 PM by scott123 »


Online scott123

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Re: Bevacqua's Reservoir Tavern, Parsippany, New Jersey
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2013, 11:42:10 PM »
I'm from Jersey, not joisey. The only people I've heard say"joisey" are from Brooklyn.
FYI: This will be out tomorrow, or maybe you can get it now;  http://njmonthly.com/articles/restaurants/25-perfect-pizzas.html


Pizza Town on a best of list? Nice! That's the first time I've ever seen them on a list like this.

I don't say 'joisey' but I know one or two people that do, and more importantly, I know plenty of people that joke about it, which was my intention  ;D

Edit: I did a little digging on the joisey joke. Apparently it goes back to an old Saturday Night Live skit starring Joe Piscopo.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 11:53:55 PM by scott123 »

Offline tombiasi

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Re: Bevacqua's Reservoir Tavern, Parsippany, New Jersey
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2013, 12:07:56 AM »
Pizza Town on a best of list? Nice! That's the first time I've ever seen them on a list like this.

I don't say 'joisey' but I know one or two people that do, and more importantly, I know plenty of people that joke about it, which was my intention  ;D

Edit: I did a little digging on the joisey joke. Apparently it goes back to an old Saturday Night Live skit starring Joe Piscopo.

Yeah, I just need to tell people that we don't say "joisey"
The link I gave you was a reprint from 2010, I'm glad you could get it.
The tavern has good pizza. In the winter the tomatoes are not "joisey" tomatoes.
And sometimes when busy some pizza personnel are not the tops.
In the long run the tavern is up there.

Offline thezaman

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Re: Bevacqua's Reservoir Tavern, Parsippany, New Jersey
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2013, 12:15:17 PM »
 tombiasi,thanks for the heads up on the article. due mari is affiliated with Nicoletta NYC, its great that the pie is recognized and appreciated in new jersey.

Offline tombiasi

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Re: Bevacqua's Reservoir Tavern, Parsippany, New Jersey
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2013, 12:22:08 PM »
tombiasi,thanks for the heads up on the article. due mari is affiliated with Nicoletta NYC, its great that the pie is recognized and appreciated in new jersey.
Glad it was of interest.