Ah Pizz re-defines pizza.
Ah Pizz appeased my demanding hunger from the inside out. Located on North Willow Street from a left off of Bloomfield Avenue is a pizza restaurant that satisfied a lunch from its architecture to the special of the day: Ah Pizz.
The snow induced an issue with parking, but keeping an eye on a prize-worthy lunch, I managed to find a spot in a lot a behind the Wellmont Theater.
Making my way through the doors of Ah Pizz, I determined its setting as attractive. High ceilings give attention to the unique oven, drawing attention to the maker himself. Ah Pizz takes your average pizza experience up two notches, from the artful show of your pizza’s making to its timely and visually appealing appearance at your table.
I was under the assumption I would order a pizza, given the name of the restaurant, but was conflicted with the choice of three different lunch specials. The Insalata e Zuppa, a bowl of soup and choice of salad; the Il Bambino, a six inch personal Margherita pizza and soup or salad; or the Il Panino, a choice of a sandwich and a soup or salad. All specials include a fountain soda and all are under $9!
Dining with a friend, he was also having trouble deciding. Our waiter could see our uncertainty, but once he realized we were first-timers, he made it clear that a pizza was the go-to option. He suggested the Pizze di Montclair, a staple of Ah Pizz: truffles, porcini mushrooms, Pecorino Sardo and Parmigiano-Reggiano, topped with grape tomatoes and wood-fired mushrooms.
His assurance of its yum-factor wasn’t necessary, as it spoke for itself. A fig jam, prosciutto and goat cheese pizza with a balsamic glaze looked delicious. As my fellow diner and myself chatted, we also took note of the pizza-making process performed at the stage of the wood-fired oven. We watched as the pizza maker dazzled our pie with its ingredients all the way until its finale, drizzling the balsamic glaze. We watched as he turned the pie in the oven and before we knew it, our pizza was before us.
Just the right size for two, we each took a slice, a bite and a long pause followed. “For the first time I’m out of words to say,” my friend Colin McLaughlin said. I couldn’t come up with a response. We sat staring at each other in silence for a good twenty seconds, eyes-wide, before we spoke of our agreement of the most dessert-fully authentic pizza we have ever tasted. Sweet fig jam, soft goat cheese yet a salty bit from the prosciutto, all layered on a thin crust with just the right amount of crunch. What put it over the top was that glaze. It added a different element, heightening the sense for sweet from the perfect choice from Ah Pizz.
We kept at that pie until there was one slice left, in which we agreed to split down the middle. “I’ve never seen you eat as much as me,” McLaughlin laughed. It’s because each slice was delectable to every intention I had for lunch that day. It was mid-afternoon, the perfect time to have lunch with a snack all in one.
Going back for another authentic Neapolitan pizza, and maybe to make a further friendly acquaintance with the server, I would take his suggestion and try the Pizze di Montclair or the Pesto. Looks like I’ll be heading back not just on one occasion since Ah Pizz managed to appease this diner and company!
Ah Pizz is located at 7 North Willow Street, and the menu can be reached online at ahpizz.com. Contact Ah Pizz by phone at 973-783-9200, and be sure to visit them during normal business hours! Ah Pizz is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. They’re open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 9 p.m.