Al Cervini and his family are bringing traditional Italian cuisine in a casual dining atmosphere to 5031 Market St. in Wilmington, the former home of Crispino’s Pizza.
Cervini said he was contacted John Crispino, who owns the building and was looking for someone to take over the space where he has been in operation since January.
Cervini, who has managed several Italian restaurants in the Raleigh area, agreed to lease the space, and named the restaurant Rosalie's Trattoria after his wife, Rosalie.
“She has been working in the restaurant business since she was 9 years old,” Cervini said. “We’re Italian, so food is a family thing.”
Cervini, along with his chef, Ramiro, created a menu focused on homemade Italian specialties such as soups, salads, oven-baked pastas, pizzas and subs. Everything is made from scratch said Cervini, from the sauces and dressings to the meatballs and desserts.
“Nothing comes in frozen and everything is made to order,” Cervini said. “The hardest part so far has been deciding which items to cut from the menu in order to keep it a reasonable size. Chef Ramiro’s food is beautiful; I really admire the man.”
Rosalie’s has two, 8-foot double decker pizza ovens, which Cervini said he plans to use to “feed pizza to everyone in Wilmington.” Specialty pies include a seafood pizza with shrimp, clams, garlic, olive oil, Grande ricotta and mozzarella topped with roasted red peppers, and the vegetarian with spinach, Cremini mushrooms, garlic, onions, San Marzano tomatoes, and Grande mozzarella. Rosalie’s will also serve calzones and stromboli.
The dining area, which seats 55, has undergone some cosmetic updates, including new artwork and drapes. Cervini said he is expecting final permits and inspections to be granted this week, and if all goes well, hopes to open by this weekend. Beer and wine will be served as soon as the ABC license is granted.
Rosalie’s will be open from 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Cervini said he plans to eventually be open for lunch during the week as well. Delivery via Uber Eats and Cape Fear Delivery will be available, and Rosalie’s will also offer off-site catering and delivery for all catering orders.
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