WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? BRUNCH, AT GAETANO’S

090316gaetanos6French toast garnished with fresh berries from the brunch menu at Gaetano’s. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?Taking a metaphorical broom to the cobwebs left behind in Tom Capello’s old restaurant, Louis Andrianos, the new owner of Gaetano’s on Wallace Street in Red Bank, leaves PieHole gobsmacked by the refreshing updates he’s instituting.

Gone are the stale Sinatra-era infused soundtrack and the granny-style oilcloth-covered tables, replaced with more contemporary stylings. The menu’s also been altered to include a daily brunch.
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RED BANK: FOOD & CLOTHING POWER CHURN

theo 080216Alexander Meder’s women’s clothing store, Theo, opened at 3 East Front Street this week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn small Two new clothing stores open. A cupcake shop adds a coffee bar as another dessert business prepares to open. One restaurant changes hands while another goes dark. And a longtime barber sweeps up the clippings for the last time.

This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn finds the usual elevated level of change in the face and character of downtown Red Bank. Read More »

RED BANK: MR. PIZZA SLICE RETURNS

mr pizza 030316HOT-TOPIC_03After a two-month gut-job remodeling, Red Bank’s beloved Mr. Pizza Slice was back in business Thursday morning, according to a Twitter post by Red Bank RiverCenter. The fully renovated Monmouth Street mainstay features longtime owner Steve Napolitani‘s pizza recipe, as well as dishes by new owners Tom Cappello of Gaetano’s and Nick Napoletano of Whipped Bites.

Also expected to be back in business: the restaurant’s long-busted Ms. Pac-Man machine. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: MR. PIZZA SLICE TO KEEP RECIPE

010916pizzaslice1Nick Napoletano shows one of the windows discovered beneath the paneling at Mr. Pizza Slice. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

HOT-TOPIC_03After getting pounded flat and spun in the air by commenters, the new owners of Mr. Pizza Slice in Red Bank have reversed course and decided to keep the old pizza recipe on the menu.

As the cheesy paneling came down inside the Monmouth Street slice-and-soda joint earlier this week, new co-owner Nick Napoletano told PieHole that longtime owner Steve Napolitani‘s pizza recipe would be preserved, along with his “signature” fries and hot dogs.

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RED BANK: MR. PIZZA SOLD; SICILIA CLOSES

mr. pizza slice 010116Two downtown restaurateurs have acquired Mr. Pizza Slice on Monmouth Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallA non-nonsense staple from the days before Red Bank became flooded with chic eateries, Mr. Pizza Slice has changed hands for the second time in two years.

This time, the buyers are the owners of two downtown restaurants. They closed the pizzeria last week for what they expect will be a month or so of interior and exterior renovations, one of them told redbankgreen’s Retail Churn Monday.

Also closed last week: Sicilia Cafe, on Broad Street, which was acquired by first-time restaurateurs just six months ago.

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RED BANK: PEDESTRIAN HIT IN CAR CURB-JUMP

rb crash 121815 2The scene on Wallace Street shortly after the accident, above. The vehicle also hit a gas regulator valve, seen below, though no leak was immediately detected. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb crash 121815 1A campaign worker for an outlier presidential candidate was injured when a car jumped a curb in downtown Red Bank Friday afternoon.

The vehicle also struck a storefont natural gas regulator that had been moved above-ground three years ago, over the vehement objections by town officials that doing so created a safety hazard.

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PIEHOLE: A WEEK-PLUS OF SHORE EATS

woody's 1 011812Woody’s Ocean Grille in Sea Bright is one of several restaurants on the Green participating in Jersey Shore Restaurant Week. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Jersey Shore Restaurant Week kicks off this Friday, and runs through next Sunday, April 13. Participating restaurants will be offering fixed price menus at $20.14 (think about it…) and $30.14 (…but not too much).

To help you get out and explore the Green’s local eateries on the cheap, PieHole has assembled this handy list for you. Go make some reservations and try something new.

morsels medium

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RED BANK RESTAURANT PUTS ON HAPPY FACE

Gaetanos facade check12-18-13The Grow Monmouth Façade Improvement Program recognized Gaetano’s Restaurant in Red Bank  for recent upgrades, with a ceremony in which Gaetano’s owner Tom Cappello accepted a reimbursement check  for $1,824 from Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone.

“This is the third check awarded through the Façade Improvement Program,” said Arnone of the award, a reimbursement for lighting fixtures installed at the front of the restaurant. “and every one of these checks has had a significant impact on the business.”

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RED BANK: WTF’S FOR LUNCH?

unterman (2)Jason Unterman, right, leads his coworkers into Gaetano’s for last week’s ‘WTF’ lunch adventure. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Last Wednesday morning, Defined Logic developer Jason Unterman sat behind the computer in his Red Bank office and thought, “Ok, WTF?”

No, he’s not crude – or not that Piehole knows, anyway. Rather, WTF’ Is Unterman’s acronym for “Where’s the Food?” a loosely organized weekly lunch outing with his coworkers that aims to stay local and – get this – never hit the same lunch spot twice. And they’ve managed to keep their string going for two years.

WTF, indeed.

The answer last week? Gaetano’s, on Wallace Street. So that’s where Piehole met up with Unterman and a few of his coworkers to learn more about the WTF challenge and get some of his favorite lunch picks.

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REAL HOUSEWIFE & REAL HUBBY IN RED BANK

melissa-and-joe-gorgaMelissa and Joe Gorga: could they be any more real than they’ll be in person, this week at Gaetano’s?

Here at the tail end of a year that boasted a January visit to Red Bank by Real Housewife of NYC and “Skinnygirl”  paragon Bethenny Frankel, borough bistro Gaetano’s Italian Restaurant & Market plays host to a Real Housewife and RealiTV celeb who famously dressed up as a “400-pound morbidly obese woman” in order to make a very public statement about fat discrimination.

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FROM THE FRUIT STAND, A LESSON IN DETAILS

capello-1Tom Cappello outside his Wallace Street restaurant. Below, a tray of gnocchi destined for local stores. (Click to enlarge)

gnocchi

In the competitive arena of Red Bank restaurants, one owner takes his work down to the molecular level.

Tom Cappello, who launched Gaetano’s on Wallace Street in 2000, has since more than doubled the size of the eatery. He’s introduced Gaetano’s brand sauces and pastas for sale in local food stores, including FoodTown and Sickles Market. He’s turned his trattoria into a classroom, offering cooking lessons for adults and children. He “merchandises the hell out of” his business, doing coupon tie-ins like the one that linked his weekly ladies’ night with the recent appearance by reality TV celeb Bethenny Frankel at the Count Basie Theatre.

And as visitors to his claustrophobia-inducing basement office sometimes come to know, it all stems from lessons Cappello learned working at a fruit stand in Brooklyn.

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