Much more than a typical strip-mall situated pizza joint, Georgina’s Pizzeria & Restaurant is a full-service Italian eatery that has plenty to offer when it comes to charm, service and cuisine.
The restaurant’s owners, gregarious husband and wife duo Tom and Roe DeMattia, relocated from Queens, N.Y., in 2005 and quickly fashioned their own niche in the Morrisville dining scene. What began as a straightforward pizzeria some five years ago has evolved into a warm, inviting bistro-style spot named after the proprietors’ middle child.
“All our sauces are house-made, and we serve fresh vegetables, most of which are bought from the local farmers market,” Roe said with a smile. “Each guest’s meal is prepared to order from scratch, and we take pride in what we serve and how it is presented.”
Speaking of pride, the restaurant uses the well-regarded Baker’s Pride brand oven for cooking its signature hand-tossed, thin-crust pizza, which is available by the slice or whole pie. “We also have gluten-free pizza,” Roe said. “Grandma pizza is popular, which is a cross between thin-crust and thicker Sicilian. It’s square with cheese on the bottom and marinara sauce dolloped on the top.”
More than two dozen gourmet pizza selections include everything from Italian Meat Lovers with prosciutto, capicollo and salami to Mediterranean Greek with artichoke, roasted red peppers, Kalamata olives and feta cheese. More eclectic — but still delicious — alternatives are found in the Portabello & Spinach White and the Hot Tex Mexican with Chorizo sausage, jalapeno peppers and onions.
Menu starters run the gamut from mozzarella sticks to chicken wings, but don’t overlook Georgina’s stuffed mushrooms filled with seasoned bread crumbs and crabmeat or the delectable carroza (fresh mozzarella on focaccia bread that’s battered and fried with pink sauce on top). “It’s like the ultimate Italian grilled cheese,” Roe said.
Another crowd-pleasing favorite arrives at the table during every meal: the melt-in-your-mouth warm garlic knots, an indulgence worth savoring time and again. “We also make our own focaccia bread,” said Roe. She then fondly described a vegetarian-friendly focaccia sandwich with grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, fresh mozzarella, spinach and red onion with house-made balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Hungry yet?
The restaurant’s extensive dinner menu ranges from the expected, such as penne alla vodka and pasta Alfredo, to the distinctive, including cranberry spinach salad with slivered almonds and pan-fried tilapia Florentine. Among the most popular entrées are eggplant parmigiana, veal marsala and lobster ravioli.
Weekly specials include elegantly prepared selections like beef brigiole stuffed with bread crumbs and sautéed caramelized onions or gourmet ravioli featuring butternut squash, tomato basil or chicken and spinach. “We also have whole-grain pasta available,” Roe said while going on to explain that Georgina’s constantly strives to provide healthy choices to its patrons.
Dessert options range from tiramisu and cannoli to cheesecake and limoncello mascarpone cake. “We also have mini cannolis if people just want a small bit of something sweet,” Roe said. The restaurant recently added cappuccino and espresso to the mix.
A variety of domestic and imported beer and wine is offered, and a weekly “Winedown Wednesday" special features half-price bottles of select wine. “We also have a wine tasting on the last Wednesday of the month, along with live music,” Roe said.
Perhaps the best secret behind the restaurant’s success is its dedicated, hard-working staff. “Many of our employees have been with us since we opened,” said Roe. Chef Enzo Foto, who hails from Brooklyn, N.Y., has worked in family-run Italian restaurants for more than 30 years. “I’m passionate about cooking, and I love working for the DeMattias,” he said. Mexican-born Pablo Flores, who runs the eatery’s pizza station, learned his cooking skills in Manhattan and has worked at Georgina’s almost since the beginning.
Though the restaurant elicits a classy, Tuscan-inspired vibe, it also serves as a family-friendly place that’s open to all people who come through its doors. “We especially love having families come in with their kids,” Roe said. “We even give the younger ones balls of pizza dough to play with while there are here.”
Tom and Roe are community-minded business owners who believe in connecting with various local groups and organizations. “We are very involved with nearby schools, churches, the fire department and the Chamber of Commerce,” Roe said.
Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, Georgina’s gladly accepts reservations. Delivery is available as well as full-service catering. A large patio is a great alternative to indoor dining when weather permits, and live music is featured on Saturday evenings from the spring into the fall months.
Georgina’s Pizzeria & Restaurant
3526 Davis Drive (Morrisville Market Place), Morrisville