NewsTrio takes over 2Wives Restaurant
By Anthony Cronin
Publication: The Day
Original partner joined by father and daughter
There's a trio of new owners at the 2Wives Brick Oven Pizza restaurant in downtown New London, and they're promising to add a few new touches to the popular downtown eatery. The restaurant's new owners are Edward DeMuzzio, who is also the president of CCi Computer Centers based in New London, his daughter Kristin DeMuzzio, and Amy Sarcia. Sarcia, who previously was a partner in the restaurant with downtown developer Peter M. Levine, said that she and the DeMuzzios bought out Levine's remaining interest. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Sarcia said the trio plans to add some seasonal items to the 2Wives menu, along with some possible pasta dishes. The restaurant's current menu includes a variety of specialty pizzas, salads, panini sandwiches and homemade desserts. It also features vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free offerings. The downtown restaurant opened in May 2009. Both Sarcia and Kristin DeMuzzio are handling the restaurant's day-to-day operations. "Kristin and I started managing back in (early) January," said Sarcia, about a month before the official closing of the deal.
DeMuzzio, whose computer company has operations in New London, Old Saybrook, Quaker Hill, Groton, Pawcatuck and Norwich, said he's excited about the restaurant's prospects and is looking forward to a new chapter as a restaurateur.
"We are slowly making some changes," he said, but added that Levine and Sarcia's successful management of the downtown restaurant made it a popular gathering spot and an attractive asset to acquire. Levine is the president and founder of Amber Properties LLC, a Westchester County, N.Y.-based developer and operator of multifamily, commercial and mixed-use real estate properties.
Levine developed the Huntington Street property - the former Monte Cristo Garage built in 1914 - into a mixed-use complex that now includes 2Wives, the Bean & Leaf coffee house, the Treehugger Organic Salon and 19 luxury apartments. In addition, his downtown New London holdings include 73 Washington St., featuring 28 apartments and an art studio.
"I decided that I would like to try it," DeMuzzio said of his newest business venture. Both Sarcia and Kristin DeMuzzio have restaurant experience, he said. DeMuzzio said he began negotiations for the restaurant's purchase in December and the deal was consummated on Feb. 4. The downtown restaurant employs about 25 full- and part-time employees.
DeMuzzio said he and his co-owners are considering a number of ideas for their restaurant, including special events, such as its March 24 beer-and-cheese tasting event from 6 to 9 p.m., as well as possibly a "celebrity chef" series.
2 Wives cooking up loads of great pizza in New London
November 18, 2009
By Joan Gordon
What, another pizza palace? In the case of the new offering, 2 Wives Brick Oven Pizza, it’s not just another of the same.
The eatery sits next to the New London Public Library, diagonally across from the courthouse (even lawyers have to eat). The two eponymous wives, Amy and Liz, have put together an appealing concept. A large neon rendition of the restaurant’s whimsical kissing lips logo, a central brick oven, stonework and mirrors liven up the refurbished building’s spare, basic lines. Bright fiesta plates in melamine add small touches of color. If seated in the right spot, you can watch the pizza preparation.
The starters list included bruschetta and focaccio, but the thought of bread preceding pizzas seemed like carb overload. Instead, we picked two antipasti for sharing. The individual ingredients — salami, prosciutto, sharp cheeses, assorted olives and shreds of roasted pepper — were quite good, but the portions were skimpy.
Salads delivered to nearby tables, on the other hand, looked enormous. At a later date I enjoyed a whopping Caesar worth heaps of praise.
With six of us, we were assured a variety of pizza toppings. I tried begging, but the kitchen would not split toppings on any of their specialty pizzas.
The pizza dough was not the cracker thin Neapolitan style, but a chewy bread base with crispy rims. Two sizes are available, 8 inch and 14 inch.
Straight away, we were happy as clams — and sure, I had ordered a personal size white clam pizza. What was not to love with the combination of roasted garlic, chopped clams and a parmesan-romano blend? Even though the pie was smallish, I took almost half home — after first, of course, sampling everyone else’s as well. The four cheese pie was awesome. The blending of the toppings was perfect. No ingredient outshone any other, not an easy task when components such as Gorgonzola and red onion were at play.
The 2 Wives margharita pizza had a generous puree of sweeter-than-expected pomodoro sauce, dotted with a few strips of basil and sliced mozzarella.
Just the right amounts of smoked Gouda and mozzarella, red onion and barbecued chicken were on the BBQ pizza. The ingredients had been tossed in a sweet sauce, making an unusual pie, and a very good one.
A grilled vegetable pizza featured a collage of colors and flavors, offering eggplant, spinach, mushrooms, peppers and feta over a walnut pesto.
Another pie was put together from the “create your own” section. It had roasted red pepper strips strewn over Italian sausage. The peppery notes from the sausage excited every bite.
At our waitress Laura’s suggestion, meatballs were added to the lasagna pizza. Crumbled meat covered the base of freshly wilted spinach over tomato sauce. Moreover, chef Dave Shifflett interspersed puffy clouds of mozzarella and ricotta on top, dramatically punching up the visual appeal. If we could have eaten with our eyes, we would have.
The restaurant offers a nice selection of moderately priced wines. Personally, I would also have liked a larger selection of beers to pair with the assorted pizzas.
Ever hear of a pizza restaurant with its very own pastry chef? 2 Wives has one, Karen Gumpel, and she turns out some stellar sweets. We groaned over a moist buttermilk chocolate cake, carrot cake with cream cheese icing and a caramel apple topped cheesecake.
The wives and their chefs have taken the opportunity to explore and invent. One clever idea is their weekend brunch menu: An egg-topped breakfast pizza, eggs Benedict calzone or French toast panini! Finish with some fruit and scones and a rich cup of freshly roasted coffee from the Bean & Leaf downstairs.
Joan Gordon writes a restaurant review every Thursday in GO. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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