Just Taste It: Delicious Pizza from Ria Bella

Ria_Bella_Rosie_de_BelgeonneDo we really need another pizza place in Greenpoint? Well, probably not, but Ria Bella (1049 Manhattan Avenue) is pretty good and I am more than happy to add it to my rotation of options.

The pizzas are baked in a ceramic oven, with either a thin or traditional Sicilian crust. Some of the pizzas are pretty creative – one that they especially recommend is the Sfincione – a square pie that has tomato basil sauce, sautéed onions, anchovies, caciocavallo cheese, topped with roasted bread crumbs (Bread crumbs on pizza? Oh yes.), and extra virgin olive oil.

pizza_di_parma_Sean_Squillaro
Pizza di Parma

I was pretty surprised by the White Feta Pie – potatoes on pizza – seriously? Yes, seriously. It was amazing and I’m not embarrassed to say that my boyfriend and I inhaled an entire pizza in an extremely short amount of time. Also, I’m not a huge potato person, so the fact that I ordered this pizza a second time in a week later says a lot.

While pizza is the primary focus at Ria Bella, there is a range of salads, appetizers, pastas, and desserts as well. After three visits, our favorite appetizer was probably the zucchini caprese (roasted zucchini with buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil), which was presented beautifully. The restaurant is still awaiting an alcohol license but hope to have it soon.

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A mouth-watering antipasto platter

Matt Tymus, one of the owners, grew up in a heavily Italian neighborhood, and as the years passed, noticed that art of good pizza was lost. He wanted to bring back the authentic Sicilian pie. “Anyone can make pizza – but can you make it well?” he asks. The staff at Ria Bella hand-select certain meats and cheeses, an admitted hassle, but worth it for a tastier pizza. Tymus admits, “We want to impress…to wow people.” Everything at the restaurant is homemade, even the array of desserts in the pastry case (which people sometimes just stop in to purchase for a snack).

When looking for spots for a restaurant, Tymus was drawn to Greenpoint, which he knew well from his father-in-law, who lives in Box Street. He found the people in Greenpoint friendly, and thought it was a good fit for the restaurant he had in mind.

Many of the recipes are from staffer Maria Squillaro’s family, with Maria’s own twists and turns. She is very passionate about her cooking, and is creative in recipe development. As time goes on, we can expect some awesome new pizzas from Ria Bella.

Ria Bella, 1049 Manhattan Avenue (between Freeman and Eagle Streets)
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, Noon-10 p.m. (with a lunch special!)
Friday-Saturday, Noon – 11p.m, Sunday: Noon – 9p.m.
Delivery available to Greenpoint and LIC on Seamless and Grubhub

About Cherie Y

Cherie Yanek moved to Greenpoint in 2000, and left for a two year hiatus to get her MFA at Naropa in landlocked Boulder. She is a writer, librarian, and ultramarathoner, and is the race director of the Burning Man Ultramarathon. For more about her running, writing, and musings, visit www.worldofcherie.blogspot.com

4 Comments

  1. Brady says:

    It’s a shame they flyer/litter like a cheap Chinese joint. I won’t be dining there anytime soon.

    Reply
  2. Heather says:

    Ha ha! The food is super expensive. I bought the cheapest pizza for $13 after tax $15! Really?! $15 for a personal pan and it wasn’t even that great, if I want an expensive ass pizza I’ll go to Paulie G’s. I think I’ll stick to my shitty ass affordable Triangolo pizza thank you very much!

    Reply
  3. Patricia says:

    Thought the pizza was very good and the owner was a very pleasant person to talk to.Looking forward to going back, and this is from a born and raised GreenPointer….best of luck

    Reply
  4. Randy Lahey says:

    I walked into this place because it was empty, I didn’t really want to deal with a crowd, sat down, got handed a menu, glanced at the menu and realized I am a lower class person dining at an upper class Restaurant… Tried to make a mad dash for the door before my wallet was held on trial. “Im not rich” I live in Greenpoint… The only reason I would consider paying these prices for any kind of “Italian” food would be only for the fact that I would actually be in Italy not knowing where to go or where to eat.. After feeling guilty by the awkward presence of employees or whomever they may have been staring at me and watching my every move I decided to buy a personal pie. I will say it did taste good but when I left i was still pretty hungry and went home sad. Thanks Greenpoint for these terrible prices for food these days. Don’t forget you are next door but not quite Williamsburg so stop fronting. P.S. Greenpoint, there are now 4 places like this here… All exactly the same. Its PIZZA! NOT ART!

    Reply

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