Olivella, a new Italian restaurant in North Bergen is on the cusp of opening. The first New Jersey project from chef Salvatore Olivella, one of the country’s top pizza makers, the new Olivella in North Bergen will serve brick oven pizza and a full menu of antipasti, pasta and entrees on a busy stretch of Bergenline Avenue, just steps from James J. Braddock Park. The restaurant will have its soft opening next week, but there is no hard date.
A native of Naples, Italy—the birthplace of modern pizza—Salvatore Olivella has built an impressive resume consulting for many of New York’s top pizza spots, including Marta, the Serafina Group, L’asso, Numero 28 and more. He also co-owns Olivella’s Neo Pizza Napoletana, a group of four restaurants in Dallas, Texas. For his Garden State debut, Olivella and his partners have built a 50-seat restaurant with a wood-burning pizza oven as the centerpiece and rear dining room flooded with natural light through a glass roof.
The menu at Olivella will offer dishes from the Italian boot, often with Salvatore’s inventive twists. Highlights include Sushi di Parma, housemade fior di latte cheese wrapped in prosciutto di San Daniele; Gnocchi Alla Romagnola with porcini, fresh truffle in a Pinot Grigio sauce; Farfalle di Olivella, bowtie pasta sautéed with smoked Norwegian salmon, shallots, vodka and salmon caviar; Pollo alla Valdostana, chicken breast sautéed with wild mushrooms, prosciutto and fontina sauce; Filet Mignon al Barolo with porcini mushrooms; and Costoletta di Vitello Milanese, thinly pounded veal that’s breaded and served on the bone, topped with salad and parmigiano.
Pizzas showcase Neapolitan tradition with a Margherita DOC with housemade fresh mozzarella, imported San Marzano tomatoes and basil; devilishly spicy Inferno with housemade fresh mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, ‘nduja (spicy spreadable pork sausage from Calabria), spicy soppressata (dry salami) and spicy honey; and Don Maradona Snow White with fresh ricotta, housemade fior di latte cheese, garlic, oregano and extra virgin olive oil. For his “Gourmet di Olivella” choices, Salvatore gets creative with a Frank Sinatra pizza topped with burrata, bresaola, arugula and lemon dressing; Agrodolce Olivella, a sweet and sour marriage of housemade fior di latte, gorgonzola, pear, parmigiano, walnuts and honey; and Tartufata del Cardinale with housemade fior di latte, prosciutto cotto, parmigiano, mushrooms, micro basil and truffle cream. Calzones can be ordered either as Classico with mozzarella, ricotta and San Marzano tomatoes or as La Vesuviana - half calzone and half customer’s choice of pizza. Only the highest quality imported San Marzano DOP certified tomatoes from Italy are used in the restaurant’s sauces and fresh cheeses such as mozzarella and fior di latte are made in house.
Olivella is located at 7709 Bergenline Avenue, North Bergen, 201-662-6110.