On a snowy, January evening, I had the absolute pleasure of dining at Tommy’s Coal Fired Pizza in the Galleria in Red Bank. Once a uniform button factory, the space has now been transformed into a unique Italian eatery with the warmth of a 1200 degree oven and the smell of charcoal and fresh baked pizza! The high ceilings, 9 seat bar tucked away in a cozy corner with television for sports fans and candle lit tables create a warm and welcoming setting, but its the food that really takes center stage. It only took me one ‘bite’ to know that I would be coming back again, and again…
Owners (husband and wife team) Tommy and Yvette Bonfiglio, greeted us with genuine smiles and eyes gleaming, anxious to tell us everything about their new restaurant which opened on December 28, 2009. We met first with ‘bubbly’ Yvette who is as energetic and dedicated as they come and had so much to tell us. Then Tommy welcomed us with words of pride about his restaurant and his success at seeing everyone so happy eating his ‘pizza done right’. Tommy explained how he traveled for three years tasting pizza around the region before he perfected his “passion-infused” pizza! As we spoke, I saw them both keeping watch over their customers and obviously enjoying the evening dining with family.
While Tommy and Yvette went their separate ways in the restaurant, Colleen (our very pretty waitress for you 20 something males reading this!) suggested I begin with a hazelnut gelato martini…another ‘warm up’ for this cold evening! My husband and son (my assistants for this evening!) started off with a Peroni beer on tap and a soda. Glancing around, I noticed that at 5:00 on this Saturday evening, there was already a line at the door!
Now for the menu! Choices included Salads (We chose the Black & Blue: Caesar Salad with Blackened Chicken, Blue Cheese Crumbles & Herb Seasoned Croutons with Classic Caesar Dressing), coal oven roasted wings (smothered with roasted onions on top of garlic flat bread and Tommy’s suggestion of hot sauce on the side), coal fired pizza (thin crust neopolitan style pizza of which we chose the “Mona Lisa” White Pie (Ricotta Cheese, Fresh Mozzarella, Fresh Basil & Imported Italian Olive Oil, cooked for 3 minutes in the 652 degree stone seasoned oven!) Also on the menu; calzones, family sides (enough for two) Foccacia style sandwiches and gelato (see picture below) My son, Glenn, chose the cookie dough at Tommy’s Café (also in the Galleria) for dessert.
Tommy was so excited to see our expression after taking a bite of the pizza . My son’s first bite was followed with an ‘oh wow’….out of the mouths of babes as they say!
We were very excited to see a beautiful 40 seat outdoor patio just begging for a warm summer night. And, for you musicians or ‘want to be musicians’ like me, Tommy’s holds a “Plug and Play” every Friday from 7:00-10:00 pm and every Sunday from 1:00-4:00 pm. Show up and sign up to perform!’
Tommy, your pizza is definitely a work of art… Your “Mona Lisa” left us smiling…we’ll be back for many, many more bites!
‘Pizza Done Right’
2 Bridge Avenue
Red Bank, NJ 07701
11:30 am – 12 midnight
Also visit Tommy’s Café in the Galleria for gelato, espresso and yummy pastries!
Beverly A. Beveridge, Monmouth County Regional Editor, JerseyBites.com
Bev resides in Eatontown with her husband, Bob, daughters, Melissa and Brittany, son, Glenn, dog, Bailey and cats, Kitty and Slodki (polish for honey/sweet). She enjoys dining out, piano, tennis, travelling, designing her JERSEY GIRL swimsuits and Calendar, music (especially Rock Concerts) and meeting people. Enjoy her ‘fun’ reviews! Passport to Peru – Home of the Jersey Girls Swimsuit models and ‘Calendar’ Girls! ‘Passport Swimsuits – A Swimsuit to fit ‘every body’. www.passporttoperu.net