400 High Street
Orange, NJ 07050
"Best Pizza in New Jersey"...this claim is an extremely bold one that cannot be ignored. We live in New Jersey, we love pizza, and we know the difference between good pizza and bad pizza. Pizza is not the same when you leave the New Jersey/New York area, it just isn't. It is a difficult task to find the pizza joint in the area that does it best, but we are up for the challenge! We began our search in Orange, NJ at the Star Tavern. We had found them on Twitter and browsed their website. They had won numerous awards for their pizza, so naturally we could not resist.
Entering the restaurant, you walk into a large open room with booths lining two of the walls, a big bar, and a tables throughout the center. It is loud to the point that you know people are enjoying each other's company and the food, but not to the point of annoying. We didn't know where to go after we walked in, but a nice person who noticed we looked confused told us the line is at the back of the restaurant. We waited behind a couple of other groups and a waitress kept coming by to walk a new group to a table. Once seated, our waitress gave us menus and asked what we'd like to drink. Reading through reviews prior, we noticed people complaining about the beer selection. We will admit it isn't vast, but they had Sierra Nevada, which we love, so that was enough to satisfy us.
We immediately ordered wings as an appetizer because we were starving. Also, we had seen them at another table and they looked amazing. To our immense pleasure, they were naked, but fried perfectly so that the skin was crispy. The sauce was clearly homemade, with the perfect amount of spice and flavor. If we had come to this restaurant simply for wings, we would have left satisfied right after our appetizer.
There was no way we could only order one pizza. We decided a good test would be the regular cheese pizza, extra crispy. The simple and perfect bar pie. The pie came out piping hot. We grabbed slices and dug in. The pizza was nicely charred on the bottom with sweet tomato sauce and creamy, melty cheese. It was a little greasier than we would have liked, but otherwise we happily devoured every bite.
Unable to agree on one topping for our second pie, we order half pepperoni and half meatball, also extra crispy (we like our thin crust pizza crispy). The pepperoni slices were thickly cut. The meatball was sliced so thin that it almost melted into the cheese on the pizza. We have absolutely no complaints about this pie. It also was a little greasy, but we figured that was to be expected with this one's toppings.Overall, being this early on in our foodie adventures and this being our first stop on the search for "New Jersey's Best Pizza", we're not sure we can give away the title yet. However, the wings are delicious, the pizza is great, and the atmosphere is welcoming. If you like thin crust and great topping options we suggest checking it out.