A girls’ afternoon led me to the busy little town of Ridgewood for the first time last month. It was a Friday afternoon and the center of town was a hub of activity. There were people enjoying leisurely lunches at one of the many restaurants, shoppers walking in and out of boutiques and brand name shops as well as families just out for relaxed walk around town.
After browsing through quite a handful of boutiques ourselves, we decided to stop for a late lunch at A Mano. This stop was at the recommendation of my girlfriend who frequently dines there. Because we walked in at three in the afternoon, we had the luxury of being the sole customers of the restaurant. It was the in between lunch and dinner hours. One thing I have to say is that there were no signs of weariness by the waitstaff at our off time arrival. They pleasantly greeted us and happily answered the large handful of questions we asked about the menu. After a few harrowing minutes of debating amongst all of their mouthwatering sounding pizzas we finally settled on three to share (don’t judge -they were personal size!). But first we selected two cool salads to savor for the hot summer afternoon. The one salad was the grilled artichoke salad. The bitter arugula paired with sharp shaved parmesan, and fresh grilled artichokes was simple and tasty. The other was a prosciutto, melon and mozzarella platter. What stood out the most on this plate was not the expected. The melon was one of the most ripe and juice bites of fruit I have as all summer. Paired with the salty prosciutto it was ying and yang flavor perfection.
Next up were those pizzas we so carefully selected. It wasn’t until they all arrived we realized they were all versions of white pies. Not to worry…we were up for the cheesy challenge. I first tried our tartufo pie. The essence of earthy truffle along with the fresh mozzarella and ricotta was a winning matchup. While I thought the flavor was there the crust is definitely on the doughy side and the middle is a bit droopy. If you’re looking for crispy crust this is not the place for you. But as long as you are a lover of all pizzas like me you’ll survive just fine.
I was on to my next slice of pizza with a special they had for the day. The crust was covered with fresh figs (currently in season), prosciutto, cheese and a balsamic drizzle. This also had that sweet and salty duo going for it. This was both of my girlfriend’s favorite pie of the day (I’m sticking by the tartufo!). My last variation of pizza was a meatball and olive pie. While very tasty it was hard to stand up next to the other two.
You would think that we would have been overstuffed at this point, and we were. But that didn’t stop us from a final indulgence of gelato. My nutty and sweet pistachio flavor was a great choice. Their gelato had almost an icy affect to it which may have been exactly what we needed on this simmering afternoon.
Now it was time to get back to shopping with the girls.
For more information on A Mano check out their website: http://amanopizza.com/
…all for the love of the dish