Wayne Steakhouse: Wayne, NJ
Liberty House Restaurant: Jersey City, NJ

Mancinni's Coal Oven Pizza: Montclair, NJ: t:e guest blogger exclusive

  Mancinni pie2

Photos by 'Curlz'

t:e field reporter jimmy:rocks has been telling me about this Mancinni's place for a while now.  He's been making some outrageous claims about how good it is. I didn't doubt him too much.

Knowing t:e reader 'Curlz' enjoys good food and the Montclair area, I gave her the heads up on this BYO pizza joint.  She gleefully reported back on how good it is. I now have no doubts whatsoever that this place is worth a trip.

One day 'Curlz' and jimmy:rocks, who don't know each other, ended up sitting next to each other at Mancinni's and chatting, unaware of the common link.  I guess they go often.  This was on the day after they apparently just missed each other at Pizza Town in Elmwood Park.  Yet another time Curlz reported that she ended up sitting next to longtime t:e friend Rosie Saferstein of NJ Monthly.  All of this is becoming too much for me to process.

Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to get down to Mancinni's myself.  My pizza obsession will get me there soon.  But, I think the word needs to get out, so I present to you the first official t:e guest blogging, by Curlz, on Mancinni's.

Curlz, take it away!

Mancinnis slice2

Photos by 'Curlz'

At the behest someone who shall remain nameless, last night, in that unbearable heat and humidity, a friend and I tried Mancinni's Coal Oven Pizza in Montclair. If memory serves, the place has been open for about 6 weeks. I'll predict here and now that they're going to need to expand. SOON. It's tiny. As in, tables for about 20 bodies.

I can't decide if I should bury the lead or not. I'm thinking not. Where in NJ are they serving fiddlehead/pancetta/red onion pizza? At Mancinni's. I just had a slice reheated ever-so-gently in my toaster oven, and I'm kicking myself for not bring more home! Separate of that one slice (the day's special), we each had a Classic (their version of a Neapolitan pie--sauce, fresh mozz, a scattering of basil) with roasted cremini mushrooms added on. $9 for the 12" pie, $4 for the mushrooms, and worth every dollar. The sauce is VERY clean. Tomatoes. Not sweet, not too acidic, just clean tomato flavor. As it should be, sez I! Next time I'll have the Mushroom pie--a white pie w/cremini, oregano, and lemon zest. The guy sitting next to me was swooning over his Puttanesca (anchovies, olives, and capers, as you'd expect), and the pancetta w/fresh red and green chili also looked good.

It was far too hot to eat much so we only had pizza, but the salads are interesting. To wit: the Herb, which has arugula, parsley, mint, thyme, oregano, and goat cheese, looked amazing. There's also a kale/roasted beets/pumpkin seeds salad, a more basic mixed salad, and one with marinated artichokes, radicchio, and arugula. They also have a couple of sandwiches (on housemade rolls, according to the menu that they intelligently included with leftovers). House made garden pickles are one of the available sides, and now that I'm reading, I also see those roasted cremini w/ricotta and thyme honey. Have I convinced you yet? :-)

In short, VERY nice ingredients, a great, relaxed vibe (be prepared to wait--the word is obviously out with the locals, many of whom are already regulars, according to the conversations I had), and imo, a terrific value. Oh, and it's BYO, as is most of Montclair.

If there's one complaint, it's that they don't appear to have a website (I hope/assume that's just yet).

Mancinni's Coal Oven Pizza : 438 Bloomfield Avenue (on the south side of the street, between S. Fullerton and Seymour--where the Wellmont is) : Montclair, NJ : 973.744.4391