A Taste of Tuscany
New Italian eatery Casa D Pizza opens in Denville with strong ties to the Denville community.
The restaurant features a real wood burning oven.
by Carly Phillips
Casa D Pizza owner Alfonso Pilinci has been in the kitchen since he was a young boy. Pilinci grew up in a family with a passion for delicious food made from fresh ingredients and now he and his own family have developed the same love of cooking and desire to share that passion with others. "I grew up with a real wood burning oven at home, and I remember how good the food was," Pilinci said. "The wood gives a completely different flavor to all food, not just the pizza. It is something you just have to taste. That is the quality I want to bring to Casa D Pizza."
Alfonso has been in the restaurant business since 1977, opening his first resturant, Alfonso's, in Teaneck. Since then his family has continued to open several restaurant, including Casa D Angelo in Wayne in 1987. His daughter Lina and son Junior have passionately followed in their father's footsteps. "My brother and I grew up in the restaurant business," Lina shared. "As kids, it was so much fun spending time in our family's restaurant. It developed our knowledge and love for cooking. These are our own familly recipes and we are excited to be sharingour passion with other families in the area. There was a point in which my father was planing to retire, but Junior and I insisted that he keep going. We look forward to opening more locations in the future."
The Pilinci family lived in Parsippany for several years and harbor many fond memories of living in town. "Our children went to school in Parsippany when they were young and we've always thought of it as a great community,"Alfonso's wife Dolly recalled. "We still have many friends and customers in Parsippany that frequented our other restuarants in the past. Since opening Casa D Pizza in Denville, we've had the chance to reunite with many of them we havent seen in years. We've had a lot of customers come by that have heard about the restaurant, not knowing we owned it, and were delighted to recognizze us here. It's wonderful to be back in the are and reunite with so many familiar faces."
Lina explained that recently, a woman from Parsippany came in for lunch with her friend, a Denville resident. To her surprise, she recognized the Pilinci family from one of their older restaurants where she was a regular customer. "She was so thrilled to reconnect with us and see our newest restaurant,"Dolly described. "Later that week she brought her husband in for dinner and we all had a great time catching up! The wood burning oven Alfonso built truly impressed them and they raved about all the food and were excidet to tell their friends. It felt great to reunite after all these years and hear such kind feedback."
The Pilinci's love of food is translates in the quality and care given to each dish. "All of our ingredients are fresh, the highest quality, nothing frozen, and everyting is made to order," Lina noted. "Junior works each moring to prepare all of the sauces, gravies, other ingredients for the day, and we bake all our breads and paninis daily in the wood oven. Everything is homemade."
Casa D Pizza also specializes in catering.
"Some customers even tell me that they can smell the real wood burning oven cooking from the traffic light on the corner !" Alfonso expressed. "I came back to this are because I remember how warm and frienfly the people here are and so far that is what we've experienced"