Pizza: at home
Smoked: Italian Sausage

A Mano in Ridgewood: back on track

As soon as t:e reader "Ev" tipped me off that A Mano's original pizzaiolo, Roberto, was coming back to train the staff, I had visions of A Mano returning to its past glory.  Under Roberto's command, A Mano was producing wonderful Neapolitan style pizza.  The place was a treasure, and a great addition to the area's mostly cookie-cutter restaurant scene.  After Roberto's departure, however, the place slipped quite a bit.  This was evident in the service (which was never stellar to begin with), the management, and most importantly, the pizza.

Roberto is/was indeed back, if only for the short term.  From what I can tell (and I'm not a reporter, so I don't generally ask owners or managers many questions on this stuff), A Mano is now part of Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani, which is one of the several professional organizations whose goal is to preserve and promote Naples' prized product.  Part of A Mano's association with the associazione involves training, and I'm guessing Roberto was sent back to sort them out.

And sort them out he did...

My recent pizza was just as I remembered those great pizze when A Mano first opened.  A wonderful crust, appropriately topped, and cooked with pride, and maybe even a bit of passion.

Roberto wasn't there that day, but the guys who were manning the ovens were talking non-stop about pizza making and training.  It was good to see some focus.

Roberto is also involved in the APN's opening of a cooking school and restaurant down in the village. 

A Mano:  an abbreviated timeline of the "Regina Margherita":

My first pizza at A Mano, back in 2007:

A mano pizza2

A disastrous pizza after Roberto's departure.  Note the gobs of unmelted cheese and the 3 pounds of tomatoes:


And a recent pizza.  They're back in the game:


A Mano : Chestnut at Franklin : Ridgewood, NJ : 201.493.2000