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Continuing George's Recipe For Success



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Continuing George’s Recipe For Success

When Lou Graziani, Jr, became the new owner of George’s Pizza & Restaurant on Route 302 in Dodgingtown more than three years ago, he promised not to tamper with success.

Indeed, the restaurant looks much the same as it did when Mr Graziani helped the late George Hoti launch the business in 1986. It has the same experienced kitchen and wait staff, and the same food that has made the restaurant so popular.

But Lou Graziani, a 1975 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, learned quite a few things in the more than 30 years that he has been in the food services industry. One of them is to keep abreast of what customers want, and to provide it.

The menu at George’s includes a large selection of veal ($14.95–$20.95), chicken ($14.95–$17.95), seafood ($12.95–22.95), and pasta dishes ($9.95–$13.95), served with salad or soup, bread and butter, and a side order of linguini, ziti, or rice, and vegetable. Caesar salad is available for $2 extra.

George’s also offers pizzas, calzones, grinders, burgers, appetizers, and salads.

There are six blackboard specials daily including two appetizer specials. On a recent week it included spinach ravioli, veal cacciatore, chicken portabella, groupa boscaiola, and shrimp Madeira, priced from $14.95 to $21.95. The house-made soups of the day were pasta fagioli and cream of chicken.

Everything is made to order at George’s. On a recent morning Lou Graziani was working in front of the pizza ovens, cutting bread into small cubes for croutons. As he worked, Mr Graziani talked about his November monthly specials — land and sea combos for $18.95.

Dinners to-go, which include salad and bread, are popular at George’s. This month there is a choice of eight chicken dinners at $11.99 each, and quarts of soup, sauce, and dressings are available to take home.

Early bird specials, $10.95, are served daily from 4 to 6:30 pm. The menu, which changes every other week, includes a choice of six entrees, bread and butter, soup or salad, a side dish, and coffee or soda.

George’s has a full bar and has expanded its wine list with 15–20 bottles of $15 wine specials on a rack in the foyer. “I sell a ton of it,” Mr Graziani said. “These are a lot of wines that you don’t see, wines from small vineyards, new vineyards. We also have a wine cellar with more than a thousand bottles of wine, offering quite a choice to the wine connoisseur.

 “In our whole kitchen staff, no one has been here less than ten years,” Mr Graziani continued. “Hawk — Momiul Hoque –– our chef, has been here 15 years and our sous chef, Bahar Miah, for 14. Mohammed Latif, the manager and pizzamaker, has been here 18. I’ve been here 18 years, and my wife, Giulia, also works here. Our children, Anthony and Gina, now help out on weekends as well.”

Although open seven days a week, George’s will be closed on Thanksgiving “so our employees can enjoy the holiday with their own families,” said Mr Graziani.

George’s Pizza & Restaurant, 1 Dodgingtown Road, is open Monday through Thursday from 11 am to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday from 11 to 11, and Sunday, 4 to 10. Major credit cards are accepted. Off-premise catering is available with two days notice. Call 426-2715 or 426-6793 for reservations and takeout.


Grilled Swordfish, Tomato And Capers

2 8-oz pieces of swordfish filet

3 cloves garlic, sliced thick

1 large tomato, diced

2 Tbs capers

Juice of ½ lemon

3 oz white wine

2 Tbs butter

2 Tbs oil

Lightly grill swordfish on both sides; set aside. Saute garlic in oil until lightly browned. Add tomatoes and simmer until soft. Add white wine, lemon juice, capers, and swordfish. Cook on low heat for approximately eight minutes. Turn off heat and add butter until it melts. Serves two.

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