Food & Drink

'Expect the Unexpected' Drives Culinary Vision at STRYXE

Chef Nicolo Fazio fires up another Tabisca.
Rolf Baumann
Pan Fried Oysters

MADISON, NJ - The "Gastro Pub" style creative dining experience at STRYXE in Madison, the new mega bowling / entertainment venue, features a scratch kitchen and Tabisca pizza oven as part of their "integrative dining" concept.

STRYXE ownership looks to use multi-dimensional culinary offerings to attract a corporate and social lunch crowd Monday through Friday in the dining area, while seamlessly transitioning into family entertainment and adult late night gatherings on evenings and weekends.

"We want customers to think of us as more then bowling," they shared.  "Much of the experience we have created here is about the food."

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As much as they seek to entertain their customers, the team behind STRYXE is eager to take their patrons on a culinary adventure.

"We are new to the food scene in Madison and in the area," STRYXE Management. "People are getting to know us as the new bowling center and entertainment venue, but what they don't realize is the caliber of chef talent we have here in both the main eatery as well as the Tabisca pizza bar. We hope over the next few months to educate customers that they can come here for a great meal as well as to play."

Executive Chef at STRYXE, Rolf Baumann, started cooking in his grandmother's guesthouse at the age of 10 in Heilbronn, Germany. At 13, he was accepted for apprenticeship in West Germany and traveled to France and Italy to study. Shortly thereafter, 'Chef Rolf' moved to the U.S. to work for a national hotel group, while going to the Culinary Institute of America and studying at the American Culinary Federation (ACF). At the ACF, he received certification as one of the youngest executive chefs at that time.

In 1998, Baumann became executive chef of Busch Stadium and then corporate chef of Delaware North Companies' Sport Service, winning many national competitions along the way. In 2009, the the New York Yankee’s contacted 'Chef Rolf' to help develop a self-operating food company called "Legends Hospitality."

"He was the perfect choice when hiring a chef here at STRYXE," said Management. "He had the the right mix of what we were looking for in this type of venue. We wanted to create a dining environment where we had creative, sophisticated cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere."

Among the dishes 'Chef Rolf' is currently featuring at STRYXE are Deviled Farm Egg Shooters with Whiskey Bacon, and his internationally award-winning Pan Fried Oysters.  

It is not uncommon to find menu highlights offering a new twist on an old favorite. "We have a sandwich on the menu called "Steak and Dip" in which the beef is locally farm sourced while the leek au jus is what they refer to as "liquid gold," house-made from melting the actual bones."

STRYXE is also changing the way folks look at pizza, delivering a creative experience called "Tabisca," brought to customers from Sciacca, a small town in Sicily where the concept originated. 

Chef Nicolo Fazio was hired to bring this Sicilian tradition to STRYXE.

"The art of Tabisca making has been passed down to me over four generations originating from my great grandmother," said Fazio. "I was born in Sciacca, Sicily and my father has been largely influential in fostering my passion for the art. He and I built our own brick oven together and share a passion for creating modern interpretations of the Tabisca art form."

'Chef Fazio's' experience includes 20+ years perfecting and refining his home-made dough, sauce, and fresh mozzarella.

A traditional Tabisca is garnished with crushed tomato, onions, salt-cured sardines, and a signature black olive in the center. Reflective of its agrarian culture, the Tabisca is cooked in a wood-fired oven and served on a simple wood plank. STRYXE has modernized this tradition by developing custom creations of fresh mozzarella, crushed tomatoes, and premium ingredients in their own custom created, wood-fired oven. There is a "Saccense" combination of sardines and black olives on the current menu.

As with the rest of the menu, where simplicity of the best fresh ingredients with a twist reigns supreme, STRYXE Tabisca features choices such as duck confit with fresh figs or marinated vegetables with roasted garlic.  'Chef Fazio' has even developed a gluten-free version for clientele. 

"STRYXE is an unexpected venue for creative intellectual cuisine," adds Baumann. "That's why I love this. We are confident we will impress our guests with fresh ingredients, locally sourced meats and produce and a truly new concept in food."

STRYXE is offering a brunch for Mother's Day featuring fresh seafood, a butchers block, homemade pasta, and traditional brunch favorites. For reservations, e-mail

STRYXE is located at 306 Main Street in Madison. For more information, including operating hours, visit

STRYXE is a marketing partner of TAPinto Summit and other, select TAPinto sites. For more information on marketing partner opportunities, contact Greg Elliott at


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