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May 7, 2012 07:32 AM

Dozzino in Hoboken

Finally made it to this restaurant which is about 5 blocks from my condo. I had no idea it existed until a fellow CHer hipped me to it. I'm not one to do a "dish-by-dish" replay of what I ate, so I won't. But I will This place is special (and especially so amid the dreck that is the Hoboken restaurant scene these days). We got to speaking with one of the partners in the business who is very passionate about the food and it shows in the fresh, locally sourced ingredients and simple preparations.
My partner had the Diavola pizza with mozzarella, tomato, red pepper and a Calabrian salami. Nice and spicy and delicious. I had the pizza special of the day which had young, very fresh spinach and a whole egg baked in the center of it. I am a sucker for a baked egg on pizza and this one was exceptional. Both pizzas had a nice tender but chewy crust with just the right amount of salt to it. The wood burning oven Dozzino uses puts a nice char on the crust, which is something I love about Neopolitan-style pizza.
There are times when you sit down at a restaurant, look around and get a good vibe for a place. Then you start to see the food coming out of the kitchen and just the look of it underlines that good vibe. Finally the food you ordered comes and everything you suspected is proven true. THAT is the kind of experience we had at Dozzino.

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  1. Very nice heads up / experience.....Have you ever been to.....

    If so, how do they compare?

    3 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      No, I haven't been fourunder. But from a look at their website (menu and philosophy) it has the same feeling as Dozzino.

      Edited to add: But of course, not having been to Bivio, I cannot attest to how their pizza tastes in comparison to that of Dozzino. Also, Dozzino has a few other offerings that I do not see on the Bivio menu: crostini, an olive plate, a meat plate (if requested) and gelato (we had an absolutely delicious molasses butter yesterday).

      1. re: ttoommyy

        Bivio menu: crostini, an olive plate, a meat plate (if requested) and gelato (we had an absolutely delicious molasses butter yesterday).

        They have these items, or similar as daily special starters.....usually priced at around $10. I liked the pizza dough and crust at Bivio.....less so for the value, service and female hostess/owner....unlike your appreciation for your encounter with the owners of Dozzino, I found her to be a little pompous. With regards to the service, we had a new(ish) server and she did not have a full command of any aspect of the evening.....that's really not a problem for me, as i understand you need to start somewhere and hopefully improve....the problem was, rather than assist her the hostess/owner only berated and corrected her....all within an earshot of my too small table in a slightly filled dining room. The owner has no concern for the customer.. This was my experience this past Fall season on a slow weekday early evening, and a later return trip, a week later.

        1. re: fourunder

          That kind of atmosphere turns me off completely.

    2. I can't comment on the food, but I feel compelled to share my experience with Dozzino's

      I stopped into Dozzino's on Good Friday a month or so ago, with two friends of mine who had raved about the place. Unfortunately, it was an absolute mob scene-- un-bussed tables, toddlers running through the restaurant screaming, scowling servers-- and we stood for about 20-30 minutes before anyone approached us at the host stand. At that point, I kid you not, we were told that the wait would be another 30 minutes and they could not guarantee that there would be any pizza left by the time we sat down. That's right - 8 o'clock on a Friday night during lent -- and they couldn't promise that there would be pizza to serve.

      I'm not sure if there was some sort of incident with the staff or maybe an emergency situation with the kitchen that night, but the lack of any attention for 20-30 minutes before being seated and the lack of PIZZA DOUGH (!) was pretty inexcusable.

      12 Replies
      1. re: Rich D.

        The dough is likely made a day in advance. When it runs out, it runs out. They can't just mix water and flour together for the remaining orders.

        30 minutes standing there without being acknowledged? Why on earth would you wait that long? I can't imagine waiting more than 5 minutes. 30 minutes would seem like 5 hours.

        1. re: tommy

          You are absolutely right about the dough tommy. It's made freh daily. When they run out, that's it.

          1. re: ttoommyy

            That's how it's SUPPOSED to be. Even at your local pizzeria that's making regular old NJ pizza.

            1. re: Curlz

              I appreciate that. But we are talking about 730 on a Friday night. It is iinexcusable to run out of dough that early on a weekend evening. As for why we waited, because it is supposed to be good, that's why.

              1. re: Rich D.

                You insist it's "inexcusable" but note yourself that the place was mobbed and it was lent. Why is it inexcusable to run out of a product which is made a day in advance?

                Perhaps it would have been inexcusable to not tell you there was a possibility of running out, but I'm unclear as to why you think this is inexcusable. I've ordered wine and have been told that it's the last bottle. Not an issue at all.

                You noted it was 8 o'clock in your prior post, rather than 7:30.

                30 minutes, standing in one place, without being acknowledged? That would be an indication that the place *isn't* good, about 10 minutes in.

                1. re: Rich D.

                  Rich D: Just mark it up to early stage growing pains. I don't think the owners knew how popular the place would become. Just shows how starved diners in Hoboken are for good, fresh food. Try giving the place another chance on a weekday night or a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

                  1. re: ttoommyy

                    If you show up at a sushi restaurant on Friday night at 8 and there is no rice, that is inexcusable. If you show up at a steakhouse at 8 on a Friday night, and there is no steak, that is inexcusable. I don't see how you can compare running out of one type of bottle of wine (likely one of many choices of wine or other beverages for that matter) to a pizza place running out of pizza. I'm not criticizing them for running out of a special or an obscure topping. They only made exactly enough pizza dough for the FIRST seating of a Friday night?

                    I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, and defer to your glowing recommendations on the food, but I'm surprised that I'm getting so much flack for sharing what I perceived to be awrful service and management miscues. Ttoommyy, growing pains? They opened in November 2010. My experience is from March 2012.

                    1. re: Rich D.

                      Rice can be made in a matter of an hour. Steak inventory sits in a restaurant for weeks. Both are different than dough made the day before, and which takes 24 hours to prepare.

                      I mention the wine because it's appropriate to note when you've ordered the last bottle of a particular wine. Just as it's appropriate to tell you that they might run out of dough.

                      Anthony Mangieri, one of the most well regarded pizza makers in the country, posts signs at his restaurant stating that they are open until the dough runs out. This is commonplace, not inexcusable.

                    2. re: ttoommyy

                      With all of that said, I WILL give them another shot, because writing them off would not be right, especially if the owners are as nice as has been shared and the food is as good as has been relayed. Nevertheless, I did feel that I should share MY experience with the place though, and noted specifically in my first post that I could not comment on the food.

                      1. re: Rich D.

                        Yes, growing pains. The first few years of a restaurant's life are always changing. Week to week, month to month, year to year. I am sure the restaurant looked back on Good Friday of 2011 and planned accordingly. Maybe there was an unknown factor in 2012 that caused them to run out of pizza dough so early in the evening. I have always said that I'd rather a restaurant run out of a good, fresh product than it serve an inferior, frozen or store-bought one.

                        I never gave you "flack" on your "sharing what [you] perceived to be awful service and management miscues." That is always inexcusable.

            2. re: Rich D.

              It's quite a trip for me to get there. If I arrived and faced this situation, could you suggest some other go-to Hoboken or JC pizzerias?

              1. re: Sdenred

                "could you suggest some other go-to Hoboken or JC pizzerias?"

                The only other place in Hoboken I can recommend is Grimaldi's. Please note that Grimaldi's does not do Neopolitan-style pizza though. There are two Hoboken locations:

                As for JC, I am not familiar with many restaurants there.

            3. For those, like me, who are yelling "WHERE in Hoboken?!?"...

              534 Adams Street (looks like it's at the corner of 6th)
              Hoboken, NJ 07030
              (201) 656-6561

              ETA (from their site):
              our hours are wednesday-sunday.

              9am for espresso. 1pm for pizza (sometimes earlier).

              we are now open tuesday at 5pm, too.

              reservations are limited. first come first serve is preferred.

              And on today's menu? Garbanzo, rosemary, pistachio, garlic, and lemon crostini. I am SO. GOING.

              1. Finally got around to trying this place on Saturday. Got there a little after 7 and not very crowded. Pizza was delicious while the service was acceptable. The servers were prompt and we did not need for anything; it's just that the two guys who waited on us did not have a lot of personality. Not really a problem, just a personal observation. My dining partner and I started with a garbanzo bean crostini which was very fresh tasting and addictive. We then each had a pizza: I had the special of the evening which had fresh kale, mozzarella and some shreds of soppressata. Very tasty. My friend had the Diavola which had mozzarella, tomato, red pepper and calabrese salami. As the name says, it was spicy...and delicious. All in all a very good experience; we would definitely go back again.

                1. I just found this online. Check it out. A little corny but it gives you a good feel for the fresh food and vibe of the place.


                  Nice video guys.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: ttoommyy

                    Nice video.

                    Looks like a gas-assist oven. That's interesting. I need to get down there.

                    1. re: tommy

                      My brother and SIL and my niece are meeting us there for a late lunch this Sunday and then strolling over to the St. Ann's feast a few blocks away. It's going to be an all-Hoboken day; something we don't usually do on a Sunday!

                      1. re: ttoommyy

                        Ah, St. Ann's. When out of town sausage and pepper sandwiches and zeppole come rolling into town.

                        Looks like the Nerds are back. Not to be missed!

                        1. re: tommy

                          "Looks like the Nerds are back. Not to be missed!"

                          Now that takes me back!