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Nov 27, 2010 05:27 PM

Ritrovo Asheville

We had dinner tonight at Nona Mia (which we always enjoy) and found out they have just opened a new retaurant at 1050 Haywood Road in W. Asheville called Ritrovo which is specializing in "real" Neopolitan pizzas. Basically it's an antipasto/salad and pizza place, but the menu looks delicious. Sadly, we are heading back to So. Fla. tomorrow morning and won't get to try it for a few weeks. The owner, who knows we love "real" Italian food told us we would love the pizzas there. The top of the menu says, "Locally Crafted with Neopolitan Tradition" "We craft traditional Neopolitan pizza where crust is the foundation. We mix our dough daily with our 10-year-old all natural starter using imported '00' soft wheat flour. We use only imported San Marzano tomatoes. We use only the finest imported meats and cheeses. Our food is prepared fresh, hand-crafted and cooked individually. We are passionate about 'the art of food.'" I'm looking forward to trying it in a few weeks. In the mean time, if anyone does get there, please post and let me know what I'm issing.

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  1. this is one of the great mysteries of Asheville - Nona Mia is great. Every time. Their new pizza joint blows. it is not good.

    7 Replies
    1. re: chezdy

      Wow, I'm really sorry to hear that. Did you go only once? Had they just opened? I will have to try it for myself because I really love the owner and she told me we will love the pizza there because it's just like Italy (all in the thin, yummy crust).

      1. re: pilches

        Interesting. I finally tried Nona Mia a couple of weeks ago, and I really liked the sourdough crust on my pizza. But it was by non means was a 2 inch tall yummy crust.

        1. re: danna

          Danna, the crust and whole pie are very different at the new restaurant (according to the owner). She told us it is "authentic" Italian, which Nona Mia's is not. Any, by the way, I like the pizza at Nona Mia's, too. We'll be back in NC in a few weeks and will definitely try Ritrovo. If anyone else get there before, I'd love to hear their opinions.

      2. re: chezdy

        They've only been open a shot while and, while they might not be up to your expectations, it's unfair to say that it blows.

        1. re: sluggrock

          They're serving a very specific style of pizza that a certain brand of pizza purist/fetishist likes, that seems to be a big trend in NYC. The Marzano tomatoes, the 00 italian flour, the super-hot oven (coal in some places, not here), and the purists like it with parts of the top burned. I only know about this from reading New York magazine's food coverage.

          It's a whole other thing that few of us have tried. A person who already has a specific idea of exactly how they like pizza (and there seem to be a lot of those around) are going to turn up their noses. The same is true at Nona Mia, as is being discussed on another thread, where somebody said "it looks too thick." That pizza is a whole different animal, a chewy, extremely olive oily, semi-sour, thing that makes you full eating one piece. I think it's great, and I don't try to compare it with any other pizza. I think pizza can be lots of things.

          At Ritrovo, where I've eaten twice, it took the second visit to warm up to it. And then I did. A HUGE thing in play here, I bet, is that the recipe is very low salt. I'm wondering if people who have bad experiences would shift if a little if they added a little salt to get something they are more used to. Especially if they are used to Marco's which I also think is great overall but **the crust at Marco's is way too salty 90% of the time** - and Ritrovo is on the opposite side of the scale. I had to mentally adjust my taste buds to notice I was actually tasting the tomatoes and the flour and the cheese more than one usually would. I think that's the point, and it's a pretty cool one.

          On the downside, the salad I had, $7 or $8 or whatever, they didn't bother to look through the spring mix and pull out the rotting bits, so I had to. And the server just walks away with 10 little rotten leaves clearly sitting on the edge of the salad plate, and nothing happens, making me think I should've said something so somebody would notice. And I think the Gelato is better at Rezaz/Enoteca. And the room at Ritrovo is too loud for me, cavernous acoustics, but then I'm no fun and would rather eat dinner in a place where I don't have to talk loud to have a conversation. Most people don't mind that sort of thing.

          Upshot: I respect the experiment at Ritrovo, hope they refine things and find a customer base. Last time I was there the staffing was huge and the audience small. I'll go back.

          That was a lot of words on pizza, sorry.

          1. re: jorgeanchovy

            And that is exactly the type of pizza the owner told me they were doing. It's like a lot of Americans, when they visit Italy, don't like the pizza, but that is really the way Italians serve it. It's the Americanized pizza that most of us are used to, but if you give the "real deal" a chance, you might find that it's really quite delicious. I am looking forward to trying Ritrovo when we get back in a couple of weeks.
            BTW, I wish you would have said something about the salad. I know that Management would want to hear it.

            1. re: jorgeanchovy

              Ok, perhaps I was a bit harsh saying they blow - however, i have made the pizza pilgrimage to Naples - birthplace of pizza - and have eaten at the top 3 places in Naples that my Italian girlfriend took me to - the pizza at Ritrovo is NOTHING like the pizzas I ate there. In my opinion they're just not that good (especially for the price) On the other hand, I ate at Nona Mia for lunch today and it was great as usual (I had pasta). How odd these are the same owners..I had such high hopes...see you at Marcos

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