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The New York Times’ restaurant critic Pete Wells is no stranger to controversy. Earlier this year he attracted massive criticism for his zero stars review of Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson’s social enterprise/healthy fast food joint LocoL in Oakland, California.
But his latest proclamation might be his most controversial yet.
“Razza, which burns wood, is one of the few [pizzerias] that excel at both dough and toppings,” says Wells. The pizzas are “put together with exquisite sensitivity to the needs of the dough," while the toppings, made largely from local ingredients, are according to Wells, “so distinctive that every time I’ve eaten there, I’ve learned something about New Jersey farms.” He reserves special praise for a hazelnut, ricotta, mozzarella and honey pizza called ‘Project Hazelnut,’ saying he has “never had anything like it.”
If you read the review it’s clear the team behind Razza are pretty meticulous when it comes to sourcing their ingredients, including waiting three years for a particular herd of buffalo to grow large enough to supply a reliable supply of milk for the mozzarella.
Wells’ statement is sure to ruffle feathers in this pizza-obsessed city, though it’s worth pointing out, he’s only referring to the best wood-fired pizza, thus excluding most of the city’s famed slice joints.