Francesco Barbarossa hopes to show Ocean County what "real Italian food" is.

Last week, I told you about a new restaurant called L'Osteria opening soon in Toms River.  Today, I got the chance to speak with the owner, Francesco Barbarossa, who was very excited about his plans to bring "a different culinary experience" to Ocean County.

He even shared some information about when we can expect L'Osteria to open!

You can trust we'll be in good hands since Chef Barbarossa has been cooking since he was a teenager (13-14 years old), in his hometown of Sferracavallo - a neighborhood in Palermo in Sicily.  Barbarossa said he got his start in a fish-based restaurant there, and while he has culinary school training, he credits the restaurant training as being "more than a school."  Experience that will be invaluable to his latest venture!

It's clear that Francesco Barbarossa is passionate about bringing Italian food as we've never seen before to Ocean County.  The Chef said: "I’m going to try to let people understand what real Italian food means...I’m not going to have old-fashioned style American Italian food…no chicken parmigiana, no fettuccine Alfredo, no old food…I want to try to give to people a different culinary experience."

Chef Barbarossa plans on highlighting foods from a different region of Italy each week with a special prix fixe family-style menu.  He explained that one week will highlight Sicilian food, the next Calabrese, and will follow each region of Italy.

Here's a sneak peek of the menu from Chef Barbarossa himself!

Courtesy of Chef Francesco Barbarossa
Courtesy of Chef Francesco Barbarossa
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I was sure to ask Francesco Barbarossa why he decided to open here in Ocean County.  It's because he's tired of the busy life in New York, and he loves how nice and quiet it is here.  He also said it reminds him of his hometown of Sferracavallo since it's by the water.  How sweet!

If you're just as hungry as I am, and are waiting to find out when you can dine at L'Osteria, Francesco Barbarossa says he estimates it'll be open in about 3 weeks (which translates to about September 5th if you're reading this today, August 15th).

Thanks so much to Chef Barbarossa for sitting down with me!  We wish you the best of luck!  L'Osteria will be located at 1922 Hooper Ave, Unit 1 in Toms River.

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