TOTOWA, NJ - Two women from the reality TV series "Mob Wives," which aired on VH-1 for six seasons, hosted a grand opening of their Italian restaurant and pizzeria Pizza Nostra on Dec. 1.
Pizza Nostra on Union Boulevard is owned by RaMona Rizzo, granddaughter of Benjamin Ruggiero (aka Lefty Guns,) and Karen Gravano, daughter of Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano, a former underboss of the Gambino crime family and federal informant.
The restaurant seats 45 customers with intimate table settings self-designed with family photos and newspaper clippings of their families' mafia connections. The theme of Pizza Nostra is family and tradition, as both owners reminisce on the memories their shared with family over meals.
“I grew up around food," Gravano stated. "The way my family came together and connected was over food, so I wanted to create a space where customers can come enjoy a delicious meal and bond with their families.”
”From my father’s pizza business to my aunt’s successful restaurant, the food industry was something I was always around, so it's important for me to accommodate to my customers to achieve a great dining experience and an atmosphere their will love,” Rizzo added.
Both Gravano and Rizzo hope to achieve the highest standards of hospitality as they see Totowa to be a community that shares their values for family and traditions.
"We saw the potential in opening a restaurant in Totowa, and we feel like it's a great fit as this community shares our values for family and tradition,” Gravano said.
Executive chef Ryan Vargo of Edgewater said the eatery will be a family place that serves traditional Italian dishes filled with secret family recipes but with his own modern and eclectic touch. Some dishes on the menu include stuffed meatballs, homemade mozzarella, homemade pastas, traditional chicken marsala, and wood oven baked pizza.
Pizza Nostra is located at 560 Union Blvd., Totowa.