Arturo’s Osteria & Pizzeria
188 Maplewood Avenue, Maplewood NJ
Web Site: http://www.arturosnj.com
Dan Richer, Chef/Owner of Arturo’s Osteria in Maplewood.
After meeting the young and food passionate Dan Richer at the recent New Jersey Les Marmitons beer dinner, I knew that this was a guy who’s restaurant I needed to go eat at.
Richer, who has no formal culinary training but who has a passion for cooking Italian cuisine, purchased Arturo’s from the original owners (which opened in 1991 as a wood fired pizzeria) in 2006. Richer has staged at many restaurants in Italy, frequently travels to Europe and has taken what he has learned and brought it back to his small Maplewood restaurant, which has a focus on pasta, pizza, and locally sourced ingredients. While Arturo’s retains a basic menu of pasta dishes, salads, small plates and artisan pizzas, Richer has gained quite a following from his regulars and has introduced tasting menus where everything is completely off-menu and seasonal.
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The specials menu for the evening.
Crostini with freshly made ricotta cheese and thin slices of Prosciutto Affumicato (Speck)
Much of the action in the restaurant centers around the hearth, a 20-year old wood burning pizza oven.
The restaurant kitchen is tight and prep area is minimal, but Richer manages to make the most of what he has.
The salad course, a pumpkin “Crudo”.
A view of the main dining room.
The special soup for the evening, a vegetarian Farro and Mushroom/Tomato Minestre.
Fresh pasta being tossed in the hearth.
One of the restaurant’s regulars showing off a Chicken of the Woods mushroom which he had Richer prepare for a special meal for a group of friends that evening.
A Piedmontese-style fresh pasta with meat ragu, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Pizza Margherita, the classic, made with fresh mozzarella.
Braised Pork Shoulder over Polenta with truffle oil
Panna Cotta for dessert.