By John Burton
RED BANK – It’ll be a little more “mangia!” for Broad Street with the coming of a new Italian cuisine restaurant.
Patrizia’s, originally of Brooklyn, will be opening at 28 Broad St., probably by early spring, according to its co-owner, Louis Maschi.
Maschi received approval from the borough planning board Monday, Dec. 2, to convert the former Prima’s Café into a 190-seat, two-level eatery. Renovations to the space will begin shortly. Maschi said he hopes to be open by early April – “if not sooner.”
Plans call for the two upper-level mezzanines to be used for dining along with the main dining room. There will also be a party room that can be used for additional diners on busy nights.
The entrance area will be renovated to resemble an outdoor grotto with wrought iron gates and some table space, opening up to the main dining room. A small bar area will be built where people also can be served food.
Maschi said the restaurant will specialize in what he called “home-cooked Neapolitan cuisine.”
Much of the cooking will be done in the eatery’s wood-burning ovens. Cooks will prepare not only their pizza but also most of the other dishes because wood ovens cook faster and are “more authentic,” he said.
The menu will include traditional Italian fare. But, what Patrizia’s has become known for in its other five locations and will be available in Red Bank, is its 10-course family style meal. Those meals will include a number of seafood appetizers, such as calamari, both grilled and a buffalo style, lobster, baby ribs and steak, and will feature a number of pasta dishes, including the restaurant’s signature fioretti. Fioretti is filled with four different cheeses and served with a light cream sauce, Maschi said. The meal also will include a variety of desserts and wine.
“Let’s put it this way,” Maschi said, “you won’t go home hungry.”
Maschi and his partner, chef Giacamo Alaio, have worked out an arrangement with Cava Winery and Vineyard in Hamburg to serve and sell its wines.
While Patrizia’s won’t have its own liquor license, the arrangement is permitted under state Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) regulations, as long as the winery pays a $250 annual fee for each restaurant and servers are registered with the ABC, ABC spokesman Zack Hossenini said. Wineries are able to strike this sort of deal with up to 15 establishments.
Maschi, who is an executive with an oil company, opened a deli in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn about 30 years ago. He eventually closed that location but entered into a business partnership with Alaio, a friend from his youth in the Bronx. Alaio’s family owned and operated a restaurant in the Bronx where Maschi and his family would frequently dine while he was growing up.
“I bring to the table the business end of it and he brings to the table the food,” Maschi said.
Since opening Patrizia’s in 2009 in Williamsburg, the two have expanded, opening two restaurants in the Bronx, another on Staten Island and one in Stamford, Conn.