A NEW PIZZERIA, AND A RAVE FOR VIA 45

pizza-fusionPizza Fusion boasts 68 seats, and plans to offer delivery in about three weeks. (Click to enlarge)

We’ve got some Red Bank eatery news this rainy Monday, with a long-awaited organic-ingredients pizzeria opening today and a second Broad Street restaurant getting a laudatory review from New Jersey’s largest newspaper.

via452Via 45 “is is all about mindful eating, of being in the moment, of seeing the opportunity in front of you,” says a reviewer. (Click to enlarge)

Entering an already crowded field, Pizza Fusion opens its doors this afternoon at 95 Broad. redbankgreen spoke to Lisa Finkler, who owns the franchised restaurant with her husband, Paul, as she awaited the arrival of their first customer shortly before lunch today.

Unsurprisingly, the Finklers, from Howell, believe they can compete in the already-crowded Red Bank market for tomato pies, a field that has seen the addition of Gianni’s Restaurant, Pacini’s Pizzeria and Tommy’s Coal-Fired Pizza in recent months, with Pazzo’s Coal-Fired Oven Restaurant planning to enter also.

“We feel our concept is very unique, and different from traditional pizza and coal-fired,” Finkler says. “There’s so much interest in this because we have gluten-free as well as vegetarian pizza.”

What is this?

Pizza Fusion is open seven days a week, from 11a to 10p Sundays through Thursdays, and 11a to 11p on Fridays and Saturdays. The store can accommodate 68 customers and is set up for take-out; a delivery service is planned after about three weeks, Finkler says.

Also in restaurant news, today’s Star-Ledger has a glowing review of Via 45, owned by chef Claudette Herring and Lauren Phillips-Daly, a pastry chef.

From the review, written by Teresa Politano:

So this eclectic little space is a bit elusive to define: It’s part lending library, part art gallery, with a kitchen philosophy that is part northern Italian peasant cuisine, part new-age vegetarian and part inventive American. And the menu will all change tomorrow — or even perhaps later today. To dine here requires a bit of letting go, of dismissing some preconceived boundaries, of allowing someone else to care for you. It requires some rethinking, which admittedly isn’t always easy. But we also found it rewarding. The food here is fresh, simple and different. Yes, it lacks urbane polish, that unifying ingredient, say, that can magically elevate a dish from ordinary to sublime; but the meals here are clearly made with passion and a lot of care.