Stefano’s Ristorante and Pizzeria, open only a few months, offers a down-to-earth presence surrounded by sophisticated décor. The new restaurant is located across from Super Target on 116th Street.
“Stefano’s is an upscale restaurant with a family value,” says Steven Enriquez (aka. Stefano). Steven grew up in New York with four brothers and remembers that family time was always centered on gathering for meals.
“I was always in the kitchen with mom,” he said.
In May, she will be coming to visit him from Texas to see his new restaurant for the first time. What a change from all those times he spent helping out in her kitchen.
“Mom will finally come to my kitchen!” Steven said excitedly.
Preparing great food has always been his passion. Besides the famous, tasty brick-oven pizza, Stefano’s offers other Italian favorites like shrimp scampi, lasagna and chicken alfredo.
Steven has worked most of his life in restaurants. He started as a bus-boy in a cafeteria at age 15. He’s worked for many restaurants such as Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesdays and Shells Seafood. Although he has tried working in the business world (Comcast for a year and half), his heart remained within the realm of restaurants.
With a triple B.A. degree in the areas of human kinetics, psychology and business administration, Steven brings a blend of wisdom to his job as owner and chef of Stefano’s.
“I have always wanted to have my own place by the time I was 40 years old,” remarks Steven. He officially took over Stefano’s (formerly Cio’s) in December and turned 41 three months later. He reached his goal, becoming a self-made man living the “American Dream.”
He proudly admits: “For years I have been working for corporate America, going with their rules. Now, I make my own decisions and enjoy life much more.”
Stefano’s menu offers a Spaghetti Family Dinner for four with salad and drinks for only $21.95. Also, a family can enjoy an 18-inch brick-oven-baked pizza with up to two toppings, four breadsticks and drinks for $22.95.
“I wanted to create something with a family oriented atmosphere and with a good value,” Steven said.
He wants everyone to relax and enjoy themselves while dining out with friends and family.
“If you make a mess, don’t worry, I’ll clean it up!” he said. “When you sit down, it’s family time.”
Coming soon, will be a new summer menu featuring some favorite additions such as Pasta Primavera and refreshing salads like the Italian Cobb and Mediterranean.
If you are on a tight schedule, you can visit the “quick counter” for individual slices of pizza and delicious calzones. The prices range from $4.95 to $6.95. For dinner, prices start at $6.50 and go up to $15.
To take advantage of the carry out, catering, “call-ahead seating” and reservations, call 577-9800.