Gigi and Mario, the latest restaurant from award-winning chef Mathieu Palombino, opens this week in Edgewater, New Jersey. It occupies the former Izzy’s Pizzeria inside City Place at the Promenade. The Italian eatery joins Chef Palombino’s extensive portfolio of Motorino outposts throughout New York City, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia, Dubai and Singapore.
Motorino, for those not in the know, is an internationally renowned, high-end pizzeria acclaimed for its Neapolitan-style pies. Since Chef Palombino opened Motorino’s first location in Williamsburg, it has earned praises from outlets such as the New York Times, Time Out New York and New York Magazine.
Gigi & Mario Opens in Edgewater, NJ
Gigi & Mario, however, will be a slight departure. The 90-seat restaurant offers a more casual dining experience. The interior is designed with roomy booths, hanging rattan lighting and chic tile floors. There’s additional seating outdoors as well.
The main difference here though is the size of the pies. Instead of serving pizza on the smaller side (8 to 10 inches), you have the choice between 12 and 16-inch pies at Gigi & Mario. The crust stays true to its Naples roots, defined by a pillowy, holey structure and crispy-chewy texture. (Thanks in large part to the traditional Neoplianto Acunto oven that gives it just the right amount of char and bubbles.)
Pizza is definitely the focal point of the menu. Although there are also antipasti offerings—we tried the meatballs and calamari fritti—salads and a burger. The specialty pies are categorized by reds and whites. The latter includes well-sourced toppings like a smoky prosciutto pizza. One has cherrystone clams, another has stracciatella, broccoli rabe, sausage and chilies.
In the tomato section, purists will find a favorite in the Margherita or pepperoni. There’s also a pie with their take on pasta amatriciana.
To drink, there’s a variety of wines by the bottle in addition to soft drinks. Desserts also make their appearance in the form of tiramisu, cheesecake and lemon tart. The chocolate fondue is a nod to Chef Palombino’s Belgium roots. It feeds two to four guests and is served with fruit and ricotta fritters for dipping.
The full menu can be found on their website.