Best Masterpizza - 2005
Until you've tasted what a French-trained, James Beard Award-nominated executive chef can do once he decides to open a dream neighborhood pizza place, you really haven't tasted pizza's potential. But since the debut of the Oven, Mark Tarbell's wood-fired pie joint in Belmar, now you can. Here, every pizza is hand-tossed; topped with the best organic, locally produced and artisan ingredients Tarbell can find; draped with his signature homemade mozzarella (made fresh all day in the Oven's kitchen) and smoked ricotta cheese; and cooked in one of two massive wood-fired ovens that Tarbell himself designed. The result is a lightly sauced pie, subtly woody in the crust. These aren't just pizzas, they're works of art -- true masterpizzas.