June 8, 2004 > Vito's
You know there is something special about the place when entering Vito's Restaurante and Pizzaria. The cheerful greeting and relaxed atmosphere are reminiscent of a neighborhood eatery where diners know the staff with an easy familiarity and understand that not only will the atmosphere be conducive to great food, but the kitchen will never disappoint.
Owners Jesse and Carmen Tamras with their children, Larsa and Ramiel know the secrets to a successful restaurant. As Jesse says, "We are here to provide great service and food." He adds that their job has not been done well unless each visit is "memorable." Taking over the operation of Vito's from his brother-in-law was a difficult decision especially for someone from a computer background with little training in the food business, but Jesse, encouraged and aided by his wife and children, knew about providing quality service and what he expected when dining out - cleanliness, a friendly and appropriate atmosphere, quality food and service.
With an excellent wait staff and strong kitchen team headed by veteran chef Sal Flores, repeat customers know and new visitors soon discover that hunger is fully satisfied at Vito's by engaging not only the sense of taste, but those of sight and smell as well. Your eyes will appreciate the ambiance and presentation of culinary works of art while pleasant aromas of Italian cooking at its best waft through the air. Finally, taste will quickly confirm first impressions. Jesse says they make their own sauce and it is Vito's "signature item." Diners have been vocal about the outstanding quality and taste of the sauce, saying they are unable to find anything like it at other restaurants.
Jesse says that Vito's is an "extended family business" that includes the Tamras clan and the employees too. It is obvious that there is more to the business than walls, tables and a stove. When speaking of the camaraderie and skills of the staff, Jesse's voice takes on a quality that reflects respect and a bit of awe at the teamwork and quality of service. He says the cooking at Vito's "comes from the heart," the result of attention to detail that extends throughout all aspects of the restaurant. Vito's features a full menu that includes a broad assortment of appetizers, salads including an excellent Antipasta Platter, sandwiches (hot and cold), Italian pasta and entrees and, of course, pizza specialties and calzones. For those short on time, food "to go" is available.
Open six days a week (closed on Sundays) for lunch and dinner, Jesse says that Vito's has been gaining in popularity since he took over the reins about a year ago. The restaurant has been open for over ten years and the menu has changed along the way, but now, along with the primary menu, Sal often provides a "special" dish that will entice regular patrons from their favorites. Customers have enjoyed an unusual level of quality and consistency at Vito's. Jesse comments that he has been told many times that the family atmosphere coupled with quality and consistency are some of the major reasons for Vito's large following.
There are times, says Jesse, when customers are so well known by Sal and some of the staff, that preparation of their order starts when Sal looks up and sees them coming in from the parking lot. "We have a very good rapport with our customers," says Jesse. That is something that will never change at Vito's.
Vito's Pizza & Italian Restaurant
39974 Cedar Blvd., Newark
(next to Food Maxx)
Monday - Saturday
10:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.