Forget everything you knew about the old Wharf Restaurant property on North Shore Road and replace it with a chic new eatery built on freshness and called Pesce Pazzo.
For the past three months, John, Mike and Gina Beatrice – along with Chef Davide Artiano – have been changing the pace of the North Shore’s dining options with their new restaurant that prides itself on making its own fresh bread, making its own pasta and creating unique dishes at a reasonable price.
The difference is apparent when one drives up and smells the aroma of burning wood as one gets out of the car.
That aroma is the smell of a brand new wood-fired pizza oven that cooks up traditional pizzas that will have one wondering if they haven’t just stepped into the Italian city of Naples.
The oven is just part of a major renovation that the family conducted before opening this summer.
“The best thing is how the whole place came together from the floor up,” said John Beatrice, as he looked out from the dining room on the stellar view of the Pines River. “We pulled the old carpet up and then we all worked to sand it down to get it smooth. Now, the floor just pops and it accentuates the tile selections, and the brick oven, and the window treatments and the colors on the wall. The two comments we always get are that we had a designer and it looks like a chain restaurant. Neither is true. We didn’t have a designer and we’re not a chain. We’re just two guys who have been in the business for a long time and know what we want to do.”
The East Boston natives, who have many ties to Revere, said they are just about to roll out a new menu with very affordable items that they know people will enjoy. Most importantly, though, they can expect it to be fresh – a charge that is not easy to execute in the kitchen, but which they know can be done by their accomplished chef, Davide Artiano (formerly associated with Boston’s Locke Ober).
“We’re making the pizzas fresh in the wood-fired oven,” said John. “The pasta is made in house by hand and the bread is baked in house. Our pizza dough is made fresh daily too. We’re very serious about having all our food fresh. Our motto is even, ‘Where Freshness Is Expected.’ Nowadays it’s hard to cook at the moment. People want things fast. We don’t have our sauces sitting in hot plates. Our sauces are heated up when they’re needed so they don’t break down or lose freshness.”
The new menu, he said, is focused on reasonable priced food.
“We have some fantastic specials coming,” he said. “Every restaurants have specials, but what we’re rolling out is things like Spicy Thursdays. We’ve got great Fra Diavolos for that day. We’re talking about Lobster Fra Diavolo at $12. Come on. Talk to me.”
He said that throughout the week they would also be offering free items with the purchase of a meal. Each day will be different.
“They’re going to be getting a complete meal and not spending a lot of money,” he said.
The restaurant is also the culmination of a business dream for John and Mike. Both graduated from college and turned to the food industry, working in their own restaurants and for chain restaurants in California for many years.
They always wanted to do something together, and when property owner and friend Victor Molle proposed they take over the restaurant – they jumped at it.
“My brother and I always wanted to do something together,” John said. “We were always doing something for someone else. We felt that before we called it quits, we wanted to put something out there together that people can enjoy. This place became available and we’re friends with Victor. Victor wanted the right people in here and it was the right time for us. One thing led to another, we got together and ended up sealing it with a handshake.”
That handshake resulted in what has become one of the most promising dining destinations in the area, and both brothers said they are hoping people will realize they can get great décor, reasonable prices and fresh food without leaving town.
“We’re trying to get folks to realize they don’t have to go anywhere else,” he said. “We have that city chic feel and reasonable prices with great food.”
Pesce Pazzo is located at 543 North Shore Rd. and is open Sunday through Thursday from noon to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. They have plenty of on-site parking available, a bar area and a function room.