John Sommers, the owner of the just-opened Olivia's Ristorante Italiana & Pizzeria in Little Silver, bristles at the notion that his eatery is just another pizza place.
"It's a little more than a pizza place," says 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, artisanal breads from Brooklyn and homemade sauces.
Sommers, who has lived in Oceanport for 15 years and 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 Roccos -- a BBQ 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 and is partnering with the Little Silver Bottle Shop for BYOB service for dinner customers.