New York City has a well-deserved reputation for having the best of so many things, from entertainment to fine dining. And many would argue that designation includes its pizza. But is it really second to none? According to the New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells, the best pizza around New York City is found in New Jersey—Jersey City, specifically. It’s called Razza Pizza Artigianale, and the owner and chef is alumnus Dan Richer. Richer LC’02, who opened Razza five years ago at 275 Grove Street, is a stickler for local farm-fresh ingredients that he scrutinizes with uncompromising zeal. His pizza pie Project Hazelnut, for one, features a kind of hazelnut that had refused to grow in New Jersey—until, that is, the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers developed a blight-resistant tree. It’s one of a dozen or so pizzas—don’t overlook Richer’s Garden State Margherita—complemented by small plates and salads. The bread and butter alone are to dine for. The quality of the food explains why Richer was recently named a James Beard Award semifinalist for best chef in the Mid-Atlantic region. The finalists will be announced on March 14 and the winners on May 7. For more information, visit