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2087 South Shore Road, Seaville
Hours: Daily, 11 am–9 pm.
Style: Located in the Cedar Square Shopping Center off Route 9, this small Italian pizzeria and restaurant offers take-out (serving pizzas, sandwiches, burgers, and salads), eat-in for lunch and dinner, and a full catering menu. Despite its unimpressive strip-mall exterior, the dining area is elegant with large booths, murals of the scenic Italian countryside, and intimate lighting.
Don’t Miss: For dinner, each entrée comes with Mama’s complimentary, signature bruschetta, piled high on crusty bread. A good starter is the heart-smart salad with arugula, tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, avocado, sundried cranberries, and roasted pine nuts in a balsamic reduction dressing ($8). Try one of the creative homemade pastas including the penne My Way with sautéed shrimp and chicken, garlic, spinach, caramelized onions and mushrooms, hot peppers, and gorgonzola cheese in a white wine and sage cream sauce ($21). According to the menu, the tortellini Pavarotti was prepared at the personal request of Luciano Pavarotti back in Mama’s original kitchen in Italy. The tenor’s namesake features tri-color cheese tortellini in a butter, thyme, sage, and white wine cream sauce with artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, and jumbo lump crab meat ($22). The pollo bruschetta is a signature dish comprised of breaded chicken topped with bruschetta, mozzarella cheese, and served in old-fashioned brown sauce ($18). If you’re in the mood for seafood, try fruitti del pescatore, a heaping bowl of shrimp, fish, clams, mussels, and scallops sautéed in olive oil, garlic, and white wine served over linguine with your choice of sauce ($26). For dessert, the tiramisu is highly recommended ($5.25).
Heads Up: Chef and owner Joseph Massaglia opened Mama Mia’s in 1988 as a small pizzeria, but expanded the space to a full-service BYO restaurant within a year. You can still order the gourmet pies in the dining room—try one of the more than twenty brick oven-baked varieties ($10).
The Scoop: Mama Mia’s has become such a local favorite that Massaglia opened a second location earlier this year in Egg Harbor Township. Check the website for exclusive recipes and regional dinner and tasting events.
Cedar Square Shopping Center, 2087 South Shore Rd
Eclectic Italian cuisine, featuring frutti del pescatore and chicken with wine and Sicilian olive oil