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Albertino’s Brick Oven Eatery opens on 131st Street

By Kara Hallissey | Jan 11, 2018
Photo by: Kara Hallissey Owner Albert Levy shows off the bar area at Albertino’s Brick Oven Eatery on 131st Street on Monday afternoon. Happy hour takes place from 2-6 p.m. with reduced pricing on rail drinks, draft pints, domestic and imported bottles.

(Jan. 12, 2018) Pizzas made from scratch, special breakfast dishes, homemade pastas and meatballs, not to mention sangria, are a few of the menu options at Albertino’s Brick Oven Eatery on 131st Street.

The new restaurant and bar opened its doors on Dec. 28 and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“Albertino’s was born from the experience of making homemade pizzas at Game World and Crab Bags’ [former] breakfast,” owner Albert Levy said. “You are going to enjoy your meal that was made fresh, from scratch, and with high-quality [ingredients.]”

For breakfast, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Albertino’s offers a number of specialties including crème brûlée French toast, made with homemade vanilla bean custard, berry compote, vanilla anglaise, maple syrup, homemade chantilly cream and mixed berries.

“It is made from scratch with the perfect sweetness and fresh berries,” Levy said. “We use 100 percent maple syrup and make our own mixed-berry component with strawberry, blueberry and raspberry, with all natural sweeteners. Once you eat it, you will crave it.”

Other breakfast favorites include ribeye steak and eggs, fried chicken breast using a recipe made famous at Crab Bag, and homemade waffles topped with eggs and spicy hollandaise. Or, try out the Kitchen Sink, which has homemade crispy cornbread topped with crumbled pork sausage, a huge bowl of eggs, Reggiano cheese potatoes, peppers, onions, mozzarella and provolone cheeses, and sausage gravy.

“It is everything your body could possibly crave,” manager Tara Wancowicz said. “We [also] have different benedicts: veggie, crab and eggs and omelets with the option of making your own.”

Pairing well with the breakfast offerings, Albertino’s has out-of-the-ordinary bloody marys topped with a sausage or scrapple sliders, grilled cheese, a slice of pizza and, of course, Maryland jumbo lump crab meat.

“The number one comment I hear about breakfast is, ‘Why do I feel good afterwards?’” Levy said. “Its special and everything is quality.”

During lunchtime, from noon to 5 p.m., a selection of homemade pizzas and Italian subs are available, including a cold cut or meatball sub and chicken or ribeye cheesesteak.

“Everything is made from scratch, including our dough, which has to age properly,” Levy said. “[The pizzas] are brick oven New York pizzas and come in two sizes: individual and large, with four and eight slices. We use all the best quality ingredients [including] Boar’s Head meats for our Italian cold cuts and pepperoni. We [also] bake fresh Italian bread in house.”

Currently, Albertino’s has a wine and pizza lunch special, where purchasing a bottle of wine comes with a free individual pizza. There are 18 bottles of wine on the menu starting at $22. Eight wine selections are offered by the glass.

Happy hour runs from 2-6 p.m. with reduced pricing on all rail drinks, draft pints, and domestic and imported bottles. There are 15 draft beers to choose and a number of microbrews, including local beers from Burley Oak, Tall Tales, Big Oyster, Fin City, Evolution, Dogfish Head and Heavy Seas.

In addition, diners can try out homemade red sangria made with wine, fresh fruit and brandy, and served in a glass or carafe.

At 5 p.m., dinner begins at Albertino’s, with diners having a range of Italian-American traditional pasta dishes, in addition to seafood specialties including crab macaroni and cheese, shrimp Diablo, blackened scallops Alfredo, crab or lobster ravioli, and sausage and shrimp fettuccini.

“We make all pasta in-house and it’s made from 100 percent durum wheat semolina,” Levy said. “There is no artificial stuff added and it’s a good carb. Our lobster ravioli is handmade on sheets and the pasta is stuffed with fresh lobster. Same with our crab raviolis. They are handpicked and guaranteed Chesapeake Bay crab meat. Our Alfredo is not a powder or mix and its made from grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.”

Levy added, “Everyone is raving about our meatballs,” which are a combination of beef, pork and veal in addition to fresh herbs, spices and cheese covered in a homemade tomato sauce.

“They are melt-in-your-mouth delicious,” Levy said. “It is quite amazing what we are putting out.”

The macaroni and cheese is made-from-scratch with homemade pasta topped with gouda, white cheddar and mozzarella.

There are 120 seats, including tables and booths in addition to 12 bar seats and a couple of tables in the bar area.

“We worked for six months on our brick oven to make sure the pizzas were perfect,” Levy said. “We have top-notch chefs and pizza makers and are fortunate to have them. They put a lot of love and energy into what they are preparing.”

About five years ago, Levy started making homemade pizzas from scratch at Game World on 146th Street.

“The response from the customers was amazing and everyone loved our pizzas,” Levy said. “We didn’t have enough seating and stopped making them. People kept requesting them, so we brought them back in limited fashion (cheese, pepperoni and sausage) and decided to start Albertino’s Brick Oven Eatery. We had breakfast at Crab Bag back in the day, but it was too much to manage and we had many requests to bring it back. Albertino’s was born from both experiences.”

In the future, owners plan to add outdoor seating and more selections to the menu, including gluten-free pasta and pizza dough.

Currently, Albertino’s Brick Oven Eatery on 131st Street is open Friday through Monday at 8 a.m. for breakfast. When the season comes back around, the restaurant will be open every day. They are also hiring.

For more information or to order carryout, call 410-250-2000.

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