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Rivoli's Still Satisfies After Over Two Decades

Italian restaurant wows with large portions and friendly service

Wouldn’t you like to know how Tony Rivoli has managed to start a business,
and keep it viable for nearly 22 years?

Longevity is not a trait of this volatile industry.  Restaurants come and go
far too often.

Not Rivioli’s Italian and Seafood Restaurant, 781 Fischer Blvd., Toms River
(732-270-3634).  The family-owned and operated business has found the right
mix: great chefs, great food, great wait staff, and very comfortable
surroundings.

My first visit to Rivoli’s on Monday, Feb. 7, impressed me beyond my wildest
expectations.  It was an experience to cherish, believe me.

Nicole Rivoli, the boss’ daughter, greeted on arrival.    On my way to my
seat, I stopped and chatted with two very nice women who had just been
served their dinners.  I was stunned at the size of the portions.  They told
me how great the food was there, and made some recommendations.

My waitress was Jen Skrinak of Toms River.    Can anyone be more cordial?  I
fell in love with her treatment of me from the very beginning.  She made me
feel so special.

Jen walked me through the menu and the night’s specials, of which there were
many.  Too many to choose from, I thought.  Too, too many.

Jen gave me a clue as to her favorites.  I could see why.  They were all
very tempting, and sounded so delicious.

I finally settled on the clams casino ($7.95) as a starter, not knowing I
also got a wonderfully fresh salad and a loaf of bread (I figured I had
better pass on the bread).

The clams were perfect, very tasty.  Clams casino are my favorite.  I wanted
more but thought better of it when I saw the huge entrees coming out of the
kitchen.

I selected the Pasta Roma ($15.95), a collection of manicotti, stuffed
shells and ravioli banked with mozzarella cheese and served with a side dish
of gnocchi (my favorite dish because of my late grandmother) and tortelli
Alfredo.  How did they manage to get all of that on one dish?

Now I’m a big guy, and big portions don’t scare me, but the size of this
dish was intimidating.

I tried and tried to eat as much of the Pasta Roma as I could.  I  don’t
think I put a dent in it.  Now I know why everyone took a container home
with them.

I especially enjoyed the sauces, which were fabulous, and the stuff shells
as good as I have ever had.  I was impressed for sure, and I don’t easily
impress.

Nicole Rivoli told me her brother-in-law, Jason Hewmlewski, who is married
to Monica Rivoli, works in the kitchen with Tony Rivoli.   Quite a family,
don’t you think?

That’s what makes Riovoli’s so special.  They take such pride in the dishes
they serve.  Afterall, they’re family and they work so well together serving
their customers.

While I took home enough for a healthy lunch the next day, I could not
resist the made-on-the-premisis desserts.  They were also so big, so great
looking.

I couldn’t resist the chocolate mousse parfait ($8.95) and an espresso
($2.25) to complete the meal.

Would you believe an evening at Rivoli’s, with all the food I enjoyed, only
cost $38.09 (also with a Diet Coke)?

Now I can understand how Rivoli’s has stayed in business for oh so long with
such a tremendous following for a BYOB restaurant that has been in the same
building since the very first day.

And the family just opened a bar/restaurant in Howell that Patch readers
will be reading about very soon.



You can reach Don Wilno at donwilno@yahoo.com with suggestions for places to
eat.

Catherine Galioto (Editor) February 18, 2011 at 08:31 PM
Just a reminder that posts for such things as libel, personal attacks, et cetera are automatically flagged and deleted.
Janet Miller February 18, 2011 at 09:11 PM
some people just can't say anything nice. Don is right, portions are huge and food is great. Going there tonight.
Rich Gato February 20, 2011 at 01:13 PM
I prefer quality to volume-been there-no thanks
Frank Mastorinni March 06, 2011 at 10:01 PM
I don't know where you people have been eating, but the food is horrible. Yes the portions are huge, but who cares. The owner has to be the dumbest person on the planet because now that he has an electronic bulletin board, all he uses it for is to make political statements and to try to pick fights with people, not to try and promote his restaurant. No matter what his beliefs are, doesn't he realize he will alienate half his potential customers??!!
James b October 11, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Quality is sacrificed but I guess everyone is impressed with the stacks of styrofoam take out containers everyone leaves with. There are so many better choices for Italian food in toms river. Try going another 1/4 mile east on Fischer to hot tomato for true Italian food
. October 11, 2012 at 03:48 AM
Hot Tomato is south on Fischer. Going east from Rivoli's would land you in the bay! Actually, landing in the bay would be better than eating at Rivoli's.

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