Il Ritrovo

March 30, 2010 | By | COMMENTS

Il Ritrovo 1
I say this with very little hesitation: this is my favorite restaurant.
This hidden gem serves true Neopolitan-style pizza. How do I know? Well, they are certified in it. Yup, you read that right. You can be certified in a certain style of pizza…well, at least this kind. Some genius Italians out there decided that the Neopolitan style of pizza was something worth preserving in its purest form. The brilliant owners of Il Ritrovo took it upon themselves to become certified by the Verace Pizza Napoletana association, along with only a handful of other establishments in the world.
So what makes this restaurant something worth reading about? Oh, you have no idea.


The bread. Made in-house in their authentic wood-burning oven daily. Drizzle that slice with olive oil and go at it. But–save room! The story gets better from here.
Il Ritrovo 3
The bruschetta. Ahhh…the bruschetta. Let me paint a picture for you, but lead with this: it’s easy to make things complicated, but complicated to make things simple. They have done the latter, taking the essential components of bruschetta and using the ingredients at their peak. The house-made bread is perfectly saturated with rich extra virgin olive oil (no doubt imported from Italy). The basil is freshly torn and lightly scattered on the bread. Two (or three, if lady luck looks your way) fresh dollops of house-made mozzerella are placed on the bread, along with freshly sliced, perfectly ripened tomatoes. Add a pinch of coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper, and you’ve got it. The ultimate bruschetta.
Pardon me while I drool.
Il Ritrovo 4<
The main event: pizza! I'm no expert in Neopolitan-style pizza, but I am pretty sure that a central concept is balance. The crust is thin, the sauce is moderate, the toppings are just a smidge above scarce. But together, they sing. There are about 15 pizzas on the menu, but my personal favorite is the Prosciutto Crudo e Ruchetta. It is thinly sliced prosciutto di parma (sold in-house), fresh arugula tossed in lemon juice and olive oil, and the fabulous tomato sauce. Now, this is no ordinary tomato. This is the home-run-slam-dunk of tomato sauces. It is made from San Marzano tomatoes, grown in the soil of Mt. Vesuvius. These are not to be taken lightly; they are serious business! So sweet yet mild…did I mention I am tearing up my yard this year just to grow some of these plants? So worth it.
Il Ritrovo 5
I had to share a picture of the bottom crust of this pizza. It is only in the all-wood burning oven for 2(ish) minutes, and gets a beautiful char to it. The texture is hard to describe without using the words “memorable”, “perfect”, or “delicious”.
The dessert here has always been delicious as well. Last time I had the tiramisu and it was light and flavorful. The most recent time it was the lemon sorbet, served in a frozen lemon. So refreshing.
This restaurant is so good, I should give it up for Lent. Except I won’t give it up. I want it to exist forever.
To learn more, you can visit the restaurant’s own website. Or, see for yourself regarding the certification they hold by visiting here: http://www.pizzanapoletana.org/showassoc.php?id=74
Or, look up the interview of the owner, Stephano, on YouTube.

Categories: Restaurant Reviews

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