Palisade Avenue continues to emerge as a growing retail corridor in Jersey City, and last Wednesday saw the official opening of Pizza Vita after months of anticipation for the restaurant’s first brick-and-mortar space near the Hudson River.
The Summit-based endeavor was started back in 2011 by Ernesto Santorelli and Chef Adele DiBiase, an award-winning restaurateur who has made the rounds on TV programs like NBC’s Today Show and Food Network’s Chopped. Chef Adele started her career as a pastry chef but later expanded her culinary prowess during a trip to Naples, Italy.
Inspired by that region’s pizzerias, the company’s initial 4,000-pound truck, which has been parked around Jersey City and Hoboken for the better part of half a decade, features a 100% wood-fired oven that heats at a steady 900 degrees. Pizza Vita has now brought an indoor version of that to a 2,350-square foot space at 435 Palisade Avenue.
The clean modern space sports a large garage-type door for great natural light, plus a giant wall-sized tribute to both pizza and the NYC skyline. The restaurant offers dine-in service, but don’t expect to wait long; the on-site oven’s high temperature allows them to cook their pizzas in just 90 seconds.
The menu at Pizza Vita features antipasti options like eggplant meatballs, baked artichoke oreganato, caprese, and buffalo cauliflower, plus some salad choices that can be modified to be served over flatbreads. For growing families, a Kid’s Table menu includes baked chicken fingers, meatball parm sliders, and cheese ravioli.
But the star of the restaurant is obviously their pizzas. All of them feature the restaurant’s homemade mozzarella or an organic vegan cheese option that’s available on all pies. Their red pies include more traditional choices like Margherita and Grandma pies, while options like “Meathead,” complete with soppressata, meatballs, and roasted sausage and “Jersey Boy,” with cherry peppers, onions, and sausage, spice things up a bit.
The “fan favorite” pie at Pizza Vita is their Melanzana, which includes crushed tomatoes, eggplant, caramelized onions, ricotta, and mozzarella. Their white pie choices range from a “Say Cheese,” which comes overloaded with several types of mozzarella, to a “Veggie Jackson” with kale, eggplant, and onions. A “Drunken” pie, vodka sauce-based with ricotta, mozzarella, and basil, rounds out the pizza options.
In addition to dinner, brunch on both Saturdays and Sundays will be coming next month to the Palisade Avenue outpost. That menu at their Summit location includes a veggie frittata with spinach, roasted tomatoes, and goat cheese, or a ‘shroom English muffin with truffled eggs, mushrooms, arugula, and aged balsamic.
A breakfast pizza with crushed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, egg, soppressata, basil, and truffle oil is available as is an avocado toast option and a ciabatta twist on French toast with Nutella and mascarpone. The restaurant’s signature breakfast dish is an “Eggs Benny Flatbread” featuring two eggs, tomato hollandaise, sautéed spinach, sausage, and potato hash.
The BYOB restaurant also has take-out options, and online ordering is available at their website. Pizza Vita is officially open for dinner daily from 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. and will have Saturday and Sunday brunch hours starting May 6 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.