What makes a good Italian restaurant?
For starters, the craftsmanship has to be both classic and creative. The service must be impeccable.
But really, the Daily Meal says, it's the overall experience that leaves customers happy.
The website ranked the 50 best Italian restaurants in the U.S., among them, Razza in Jersey City.
The Grove Street restaurant opened in 2012 by Dan Richer, a semifinalist for the James Beard Rising Star Award. Razza quickly rose to fame -- with help last year from New York Times critic Pete Wells.
"Not only has Richer perfected his crust — it’s crisp from end to end and its inside is soft with a complex flavor — he’s also meticulous about his toppings, which he sources locally," the Daily Meal says.
"The mozzarella on his Bufala pie, for example, comes from water buffalo from Jersey’s Sussex County; he had to wait years for the herd to grow large enough to ensure a steady supply of the notoriously difficult-to-perfect cheese.
"And as for the sauce, Richer told the Times that he waits for the latest vintages of tomatoes from California, New Jersey, and Italy to be canned each January before blind-tasting and grading them all, then blending them like fine wine.
"When assembled, the pizza is damn near perfect."
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