Music City Mike, the other side of my blogging brain, was back in the Garden State again where he was lucky enough to catch another great house concert at Live @ Drew’s in Ringwood, NJ. Bringing food to share is always a big part of the experience, and Drew always has a new suggestion for the Snob. Having provided some great choices in the past (Ringwood Pizza and Sunnyside’s Bar and Grill), where Drew leads I will follow.
This time out Drew pointed me to Geppetto’s Pizza on Ringwood Avenue right on the Ringwood/Wanaque border. According to him, this joint was much maligned in the area, but the last three times he had it pre-show, he just had to ask where it came from. To quote him on it, “There’s nothing outstanding about it if you break down the components. But, there’s also nothing bad about it. Everything works.”
Having spent the day in Manhattan, I wound up getting a late start to Ringwood and was unable to bring a pizza to the pre-show buffet. I walked into Drew’s kitchen, and there he stood next to an unfamiliar cheese pie cut into half slices. Putting pizza talk before music talk, I learned the pie was from Geppetto’s. I grabbed a couple of slices and thoroughly enjoyed them. My plan now was to get a pie to go after the show.
Music over, I headed south on Ringwood Avenue and found Geppetto’s in a small roadside building of its own. Despite disliking their name since it has absolutely nothing to do with pizza, the picture of the legendary toymaker’s famous creation on their sign was an easy landmark to spot. Things there were winding down on this late Saturday night when I approached the counter to order a large cheese pie to go for $10.95. The young pizza cook prepared it fresh taking no longer than ten minutes.
I sat down in their amply-sized dining room for a taste, and I managed to kill three whole slices! Delicious and quite hot, the roof of my mouth suffered some minor damage in the process. Geppetto’s pie scored high with both fresh, tasty ingredients and excellent preparation. It was well cooked with the crust firm and chewy. I loved its nice oil base, and there was an agreeable aftertaste of oregano. What kept this pie from perfection was its slight overuse of both cheese and dough. The cheese got a bit top-heavy and made the slice flop at the point.
I hope to sample it again at Drew’s or bring one home post-show. Mom and Dad sure appreciate the leftovers when the Snob is in town!
PIZZA SNOB RATING **** Near Perfection
365 Ringwood Avenue
Wanaque, NJ 07465