OLD BRIDGE – The new owners of Attilio’s Pizzeria and Restaurant bring the flavor of Naples, Italy, in every bite.
Longtime friends Lina Carpenito and Nunzio Schiano took over the establishment on March 8, two days before the state started shutting down businesses due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“What timing,” Carpenito said as she recalled the ordeal. “But we pushed through.”
Carpenito and Schiano used the time during quarantine to revamp the inside of the restaurant, as well as the menu, which offers authentic Italian dishes from a Margherita pizza pie to a simple ingredient soup.
Bread is made in house and customers can buy as many loaves as they want.
“We are not reinventing the wheel … we grew up with these dishes,” Carpenito said.
Carpenito and Schiano grew up in Monte Di Procida, a town in the Naples region. The friends moved to New Jersey with their families when they were young.
Fast forward two decades and 18 years in the restaurant business, the friends have opened a restaurant together.
“It was always a dream,” Carpenito said, adding their takeover is a family affair of both their families. “Nunzio was in North Carolina with a restaurant there and I’ve been in New Jersey. One of our friends told us about the opening of Attilio’s and it has been in the works since then.”
Carpenito said since they acquired the location, restaurants are starting to slowly reopen with outdoor dining and 25% indoor dining capacity.
During the height of the coronavirus, Carpenito said their restaurant donated pies to frontline heroes. She said they are always looking for sponsors for whoever would like to donate food.
Attilio’s offers takeout and delivery through their website; phone; and third-party delivery services such as Doordash, Grubhub and Slice. Carpenito said they also offer catering, noting they have done several football heroes and hot catering events.
Carpenito said the chefs are always open for menu ideas. She said Nunzio’s son Francesco has been dabbling in dessert pies, which may soon make its way onto the menu.
“It’s all about the pizza experience,” she said. “If it’s not on the menu, just ask us.”
Next up, Carpenito said they would like do a grand opening ceremony with the township.
Attilio’s Pizzeria and Restaurant is at 1447 Route 18 south in Old Bridge. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
For more information, visit www.pizzaattilios.com or call 732-307-2700.