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Jack’s Brick Oven Pizzeria in Norwich delivers Mediterranean flavors

This week’s edition of The Local Flavor characteristics Jack Djonbali of Jack’s Brick Oven Pizzeria. Born and raised in the coronary heart of the Mediterranean, Jack came in excess of to the United States to reside with his loved ones in New York and get an training. Following graduating substantial faculty in Brooklyn, he commenced functioning for his brother’s enterprises in Manhattan.

With plenty of knowledge below his belt, he moved to Norwich, Connecticut and opened his initially cafe, La Stella Pizzeria. Acquiring accomplishment, his upcoming place would give him the flexibility to delve into his Mediterranean roots and provide his clients a plethora of delicacies. Come 2010, Jack’s Brick Oven Pizzeria was open to the community, and Jack himself has not seemed back again.

Blaine: To start off factors off, exactly where did you grow up?

"I love food and I’m a people person. I love to chat with my customers and make them happy, and serving them good food is what makes us both happy." - Jack Djonbali, owner of Jack's Brick Oven Pizzeria in Norwich

Jack: I was born in Montenegro. It was excellent, various from listed here. My mother and father would cook major meals for spouse and children gatherings. I left the state when I was fifteen decades aged in 94’-95’. I experienced family members in New York, brothers and sisters. I came listed here to get an schooling. I started high university in New York and graduated in Brooklyn.

The full household, we’re big into cooking. My brother owns 5 places to eat in Manhattan. He’s been in Manhattan for the earlier 30 a long time. Which is in which I started off cooking and remaining included in the cafe enterprise.

I moved to Connecticut in ’98 and started out doing work in a local restaurant. I opened La Stella Pizzeria in 2001. I was 24 several years aged again then. I was there for about 9 years just before I opened Jack’s Brick Oven in 2010. This calendar year I’ll be opening a liquor keep, too. It’s gonna be identified as West 82 Wine and Liquor.

Wine, wine, and you guessed it, more wine, all for the customers to enjoy.

Blaine: What created you want to do a pizzeria?

Jack: For Jack’s Brick Oven, I went for a complete Mediterranean menu. Pizzas, salads, steaks, other dishes. We experienced a large ample kitchen area to increase the menu, as opposed to La Stella. I wanted to convey my expertise and qualifications to the menu.

Blaine: Is your restaurant just Italian cuisine or is there inspiration from other locations in the Mediterranean?

Jack: There are other influences, yes. We provide gyros, for case in point. They’re not Italian delicacies. We make food to make all our buyers joyful. If you do not like pizzas, we want to have other possibilities for you. We have several specials that rotate, like chicken teriyaki. We want to make confident there is a little something for everyone. It is a good deal of Italian food items, but the menu as a entire is much more Mediterranean, and far more assorted.

There's a pizza for everyone, and all of them are made fresh.

Blaine: What can you convey to me about the Vitello alla Francese?

Jack: It is a standard Italian dish. We call it Scallopini. It’s a veal cut that’s tenderized, pan-seared (never fried) and cook dinner it in butter, lemon juice and wine with new herbs and served more than pasta.

Blaine: How about the Jack’s Brick Oven Pasta?

Jack: It’s a bowtie pasta. We use the best prosciutto. It comes with peas, garlic, olive oil, a white wine sauce and Pecorino cheese. It arrives with soup on the side, or a salad. I named it soon after the restaurant for the reason that it is my have recipe. I like to use prosciutto. It gives a definitely wonderful taste to the dish. It’s my specialty.

All pizzas are prepped to order and hand-tossed; no frozen dough whatsoever.

Blaine: A further dish that trapped out to me was the Tortellini Zanfina.

Jack: Which is named right after my daughter. I always told her, when I opened my next cafe, I would name a dish right after her. The tortellini are stuffed with ricotta cheese. It’s a high-quality pasta. We make the sauce on the aspect, a pink sauce. It has mushroom, eco-friendly peas. The flavors function really effectively jointly.