John Sommers, the owner of the new Olivia's Ristorante Italiana & Pizzeria in neighboring Little Silver, bristles at the notion that his eatery is just another pizza place.
"It's a little more than a pizza place," said Sommers, sitting at one of the handful of tables of his eatery tucked into the corner of the A&P Plaza in the heart of town. "This is way above what a pizza place could ever be."
The culinary school grad, who trained in Italy and spent time working in Manhattan, says his restaurant — which opened Sept. 19 — will offer diners imported ingredients, artisan breads from Brooklyn and homemade sauces.
Sommers, who was the "Chef G" who launched Sea Bright's Trattoria G, hopes to offer "high quality, affordable Italian food."
To that end, Olivia's will offer lunch and after-school specials for customers while keeping selections fresh with menu items "made in small batches, and when it's gone, it's gone," says Sommers.
But Sommers, who owns Little Rocco's barbeque shop, in Belford, hopes not to be penned in by by his Italian menu and plans to break out from time to time to serve dishes like buttermilk fried chicken and panini sandwiches. He also loves to make soups and plans to offer favorites like Escarole, Bean and Spicy Sausage, and Cream of Asparagus with Marscapone.
Olivia's is closed on Mondays.