RED BANK: FOOD FROM THE HEEL OF ITALY

puglia (2)The former Red Bank Pizza is now home to Puglia, named for a Manhattan restaurant with an almost 100-year history. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

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The exhaust vents of Red Bank’s numerous Italian restaurants already send up a Vesuvian cloud of aromatic garlic that envelops the Green.

Well, that cloud just got a little thicker.

A few weeks ago, Ben Mancuso quietly opened the doors to yet another Italian restaurant and pizzeria in the long-vacant space that once housed Red Bank Pizza.

But Mancuso isn’t especially worried about adding another entry to the already long roster of Italian restaurants in town.

“I’m bringing the name,” he says of Puglia, which shares a moniker with his family’s Manhattan-based restaurant.

“If I opened up here as Joe’s Pizzeria or Joe’s Restaurant, I’m just an ordinary guy on the block. But that name is a name that’s been in business since 1919 so we’re doing something right.”

 

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