It’s National Pizza Month and we’ve been recommended to go to Arturo’s in Maplewood many times for their pizza so this was the month to try it. Wood-burning ovens can make some of the best pizza around and Arturo’s focus on local ingredients and special flavor combinations makes their pizza some of the best in New Jersey. Yes, you read that correctly. It was that good.
We tried three different small pizzas and shared them among three diners. It was more than enough food and we still took home a few slices. Each was delicious and one or two ingredients stood out as the main flavor on each one.
We started out with the classic Margherita pizza with hand-made mozzarella, tomato sauce, Oregon sea salt, fresh basil and California extra virgin olive oil. The basil was so fresh that it nearly overpowered the rest of the ingredients. The tomato sauce was light and the cheese and olive oil made a nice creamy feel without being too greasy like you get from cheaper cheese.
The Bianco pizza was a traditional white pizza with mozzarella, ricotta, sea salt and olive oil. The cheeses were so light that the rich, green earthiness of the extra virgin olive oil really shined. This could very easily be great appetizer if you’re getting entrees later.
Two out of three at our lunch table thought the Santo pizza was the best one we had that day. Mozzarella, tomato sauce, sausage, onions and roasted chili oil gave this pie a real spicy kick at first which then mellowed into the fennel-herbed sausage flavor. Sauce and cheese ratios were just right to complement the spicy and herby toppings. Really, really great pizza!
The seating area in the restaurant is pretty small—much smaller than it would appear from the outside. But, the good news is that the entire staff we encountered while we were there were extremely friendly and helpful. One of the wait staff even volunteered to take the picture of their ovens you see above for us. There are some individual tables and one large community table. We sat at the community table with a party that had already started eating. It was a fun experience mingling with other diners while we were waiting for our pizzas.
Maplewood has a great downtown for local shopping and Arturo’s is perfectly located right in the middle of downtown for lunch while you shop. Now, get out there and try some new pizza for National Pizza Month!
Arturo’s Osteria and Pizzeria
180 Maplewood Ave., Maplewood
Mon-Sun for Lunch: 11 am – 2:30 pm
Mon-Thu 5 pm – 9 pm
Fri-Sat 5 pm – 10 pm
Sun 4:30 pm – 9 pm
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