Ocean City Today

DiFebo’s Italian Restaurant opens third location in Berlin

By Kara Hallissey | Sep 28, 2017
Photo by: Kara Hallissey DiFebo’s Italian Restaurant owners, Lisa DiFebo-Osias and Jeff Osias, are pictured in front of DiFebo-Osias’ grandparents’ passport at their Bethany Beach location on Monday morning. A third restaurant is slated to open by the end of October, taking over the spot currently occupied by Siculi Italian Kitchen on 104 North Main Street in Berlin.

(Sept. 29, 2017) DiFebo’s Italian Restaurant, a staple in Bethany and Rehoboth beach towns, is slated to open a third location by the end of October, taking over the spot currently occupied by Siculi Italian Kitchen on 104 North Main Street in Berlin.

Owners Lisa DiFebo-Osias and Jeff Osias are excited to bring their homemade pastas, eclectic pizzas and famous raviolis, gravy and meatballs to Berlin.

“We are just thrilled,” Lisa DiFebo-Osias said. “We love the town and love the people. How could you not want to open a restaurant in the coolest small town?”

The menu has a “common thread of core foods” and family recipes available at both of their other locations. New items will also be added based on community needs and wants, she said.

“Lisa and I are both chefs and always challenge ourselves to create special menu items,” Osias said.

The Berlin menu will feature many house favorites and well-known dishes including a 12-ounce veil chop and homemade raviolis, which is a recipe brought to DiFebo’s from Abruzzi, Italy, by DiFebo-Osias’ grandmother.

“The raviolis are very special to our family and one of our house favorites,” DiFebo-Osias said. “My dad is still the only one who makes the gravy and meatballs. We focus on family and you will see a lot of different flavors coming to Berlin.”

The new location will have up to 12 bar seats, a selection of Italian wines, house infusions and homemade oaked bourbon. Local vendors and brewers will also be utilized.

Her mother’s side of the family is from South Philadelphia and DiFebo-Osias always loved the ambiance of neighborhood Italian restaurants in the city.

“The window [at the new Berlin location] will say, ‘A neighborhood Italian,’ DiFebo-Osias said. “I want to be Berlin’s Italian neighborhood restaurant and a part of the community.”

Their children have attended school at Worcester Prep in Berlin for 13 years and they look forward to operating a business there.

“We are approached quite a bit to open [additional] locations,” she said. “Our intention is to never grow the business to the point where we can’t manage it as a family-run business.”

All three DiFebo’s Italian restaurants are family-owned and operated by three generations of the DiFebo-Osias household.

“Every time I lay a plate down, the smell and look, brings me back to my grandparents,” DiFebo-Osias said. “I was blessed to be raised by my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. That is what makes us unique. We are serving my grandparents’ food and for that I am grateful.”

For the last couple of years, DiFebo’s owners have been on the lookout for places to expand their Italian restaurant.

“There are great restaurants in Berlin and we are happy to be amongst them,” DiFebo-Osias said.

The new location in Berlin came to fruition about a month ago and the couple was pleasantly surprised with how welcoming the community has been.

“We thought it would be a good fit,” DiFebo-Osias said. “What I have found in the last two weeks is the town is pretty amazing. We are so excited to bring our product to the town and grow it.”

There will be a few minor tweaks made to the property, which will occur after Siculi closes on Oct. 7. DiFebo’s will retain Siculi’s employees.

“It is a beautiful restaurant and there is not much we need to do,” DiFebo-Osias said. “We want to make it look like the DiFebo’s restaurants in Rehoboth and Bethany, and have a continuity between the three locations. We will cover the windows and hope to unveil sometime at the end of October.”

During the first week of October, Italian chef and friend, Ricardo Tognozzi, who is originally from Tuscany, will be spending part of his vacation in Berlin helping the owners perfect their pizza dough and the new wood-burning stove they have acquired, she said.

Check out the Berlin location on Main Street for lunch or dinner every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“The gentleman who owns the building loves Berlin and wants nothing but the best for this town,” DiFebo-Osias said. “We are honored he believes we are an asset and is placing faith in us as business owners.”

DiFebo’s Italian Restaurant opened a Rehoboth Beach location in 2013 and has been operating in Bethany Beach since 1989.

“Berlin is such a good fit for us,” Osias said. “I have a passion for the business, but no matter how great the food is, the service has to be spot on.”

For more information, visit www.difebos.com.

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