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latest thoughts on a mano (ridgewood)?

b
bob gaj Apr 6, 2010 03:19 PM

might be taking my parents and kids there this weekend...i've read that they were good, not so good, then good again. does anyone have any opinions on the place over the last 6 months? in other words, is it all it's cracked up to be?

thanks...

  1. b
    bob gaj Apr 11, 2010 05:54 AM

    thanks for the feedback guys...went yesterday with my parents who had never tried naples style pizza.

    i've had it before (like it better than either brooklyn style or new haven) at keste, which was *amazing*, and another place. when i heard that a mano was assisted by the guy who opened keste, i hoped it would be almost as good.

    there's a big dropoff from keste to a mano, and it's mainly in the bread - the way it was cooked at keste was some of the best bread i've had (even though it was pizza), and it wasn't done quite the same way at a mano.

    having said that, it was better than the other place i've been to, and although i don't have naples-style that often, their "buy 1 get 1" offer on m-thurs is incredible. if i lived around there, i'd definitely be taking advantage of that more often.

    my fears were that it would be as some bloggers described during their "bad" period. it definitely wasn't that...

    10 Replies
    1. re: bob gaj
      tommy Apr 11, 2010 08:59 AM

      A Mano was more than assisted by Roberto, it was opened by him. Even under him, New Jersey audiences just weren't getting it. They complained and complained, likely to the point where A Mano started tweaking their approach to meet the expectations of people who had never had Neapolitan style pizza, nor cared about it. Meanwhile, Roberto splits, and opens up Keste to critical and popular acclaim. The only difference: the audience.

      -----
      A Mano
      Ridgewood, NJ, Ridgewood, NJ

      1. re: tommy
        menton1 Apr 12, 2010 08:50 AM

        Gee, Tommy, are you implying that New Jersey-ans just don't get it? As in, say a bad word about places like PF Changs or Baumgart's and 20 people will vociferously beg to differ and tell you how great those places are?

        1. re: menton1
          tommy Apr 12, 2010 09:45 AM

          well i wouldn't paint with a wide brush, but the people who don't get it seem to be the most vocal. that happens with most everything i've noticed. not just food.

          1. re: menton1
            f
            foodismylife Apr 12, 2010 12:21 PM

            A Mano should be packed to the gills mon to thurs for buy one get one free alone.
            If it aint a chain, my fellow Jerseyites wont go.
            A true pity
            Maywood Fish versus McCormick and Schmicks is just one example.
            The former is wonderful, the latter is mediocre but which is bigger?

            -----
            A Mano
            Ridgewood, NJ, Ridgewood, NJ

            1. re: foodismylife
              Bosmer Apr 13, 2010 07:54 AM

              The pizza has been very inconsistent over the years. It ranges from good to excellent. I have never had a bad pizza.

              The buy one get one free offer Monday to Thursday is a bargain.

              I stopped going because of management and service.

              1. re: Bosmer
                d
                doxy216 Apr 13, 2010 07:55 AM

                We stopped for the same reasons.

                1. re: doxy216
                  Curlz Apr 13, 2010 04:53 PM

                  Care to elaborate? I haven't been there nearly as often since Roberto left, but we've always found the service to be friendly and fairly efficient. If I have one complaint it's that they close the place up around you--even if it's early.

                  1. re: Curlz
                    tommy Apr 13, 2010 04:59 PM

                    Curlz, haven't you complained about one of the manager types?

                    I ignore everyone around me in general, so I've never noticed any big issues here with regard to service or management. In fact, my dining companions complained that the cheese wasn't melted (and it wasn't), and the server took the entire pizza off the menu, with an apology, and no questions asked.

                    1. re: tommy
                      Curlz Apr 13, 2010 05:21 PM

                      I probably did complain about the older guy who came in at the tail end of Roberto's tenure...he was always VERY gruff (to everyone). Then we went one night with a bunch of kids, and his tune totally changed--he suddenly showed a sweet grandfatherly attitude. Haven't complained since, and those kids weren't even mine (that I know of)!

                      1. re: Curlz
                        f
                        foodismylife Apr 14, 2010 01:18 PM

                        right you are, he just seems gruff, really a nice man
                        I think he is an owner.
                        Regardless, the service is fine and the buy one get one free is a steal
                        salads particularly the artichoke, plain pies are the best just like naples and save room for dessert
                        this place is a pleasure and no i dont have any interest in this place except my desire to have them succeed
                        also byob

      2. tommy Apr 8, 2010 07:32 PM

        gaj, the pizza has been up and down over the years, within the context of what it is. it seems to depend on factors which you could not predict. recently, i thought it was a fine representation of Neapolitan pizza, more so than I'd experienced last year.

        the bottom line is, if you like that style of pizza, you won't be disappointed. if you have a problem with that style of pizza (perhaps thinking it should be "more like Brooklyn's Pizza around the corner", or, "I couldn't pick it up and fold it") then you would have and will continue to be disappointed.

        1. Curlz Apr 8, 2010 04:16 PM

          Have to agree that if you stick to the basics (salads and the pizzas--I do the margherita or the funghi/eggplant) it's still terrific. I haven't tried the recently expanded menu yet.

          1. f
            foodismylife Apr 8, 2010 08:08 AM

            it certainly is worth the trip.
            Simpler the better on the pies.
            Great salads also and absolutely save room for the desserts and gelato.
            Also byob.
            This place is off the hook great for pizza, true Neapolitan.
            Also buy one get one free mon thru thurs
            can't be beat
            forza pizza

            1. f
              fourunder Apr 7, 2010 06:37 AM

              The latest news I have heard on A Mano...

              http://blogs.northjersey.com/blogs/se...

              -----
              A Mano
              Ridgewood, NJ, Ridgewood, NJ

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