Gemelli Starts Serving Up Pizzas in Barnegat 

Jul 19, 2017

As someone who has worked in the restaurant business for half of his 32 years, Matthew Dunn dreamed of one day owning his own establishment. That was realized July 17 with opening of Gemelli Bistro and Pizzeria, located at 696 East Bay Ave. in Barnegat Township at what was formerly Serpico’s Ristorante.

Dunn said Gemelli is an Italian word for twins; he named the business for his twins, Mikayla and Matthew, born earlier this year.

Currently, the pizzeria section is up and running.

“We got great response for our opening day,” he said. “I hope to have the restaurant ready by Labor Day.”

A graduate of the Cape/Atlantic Community College Culinary Arts School, Dunn is quite familiar with the building he’s taking over. Eight years ago, he worked as an executive chef when the establishment was known as Spiaggia e Luna, and then later changed to Serpico’s.

“When I was younger, I worked as a cook at the Lighthouse Tavern (in Waretown),” he said. “My parents live in Manahawkin, so I know the area.”

Career highlights include working as a sous chef at the Borgata in Atlantic City, production chef for Zabari in New York, sous chef for the Marriott Marquis in New York and executive sous chef at the Princeton Marriott at Forrestal.

Dunn said one of the features of the pizzeria will be flatbread pizza.

“The pizzeria will serve more than pizza,” he said. “It will also offer some dinners, and one of my favorites is chicken and hot peppers over rigatoni.”

Dunn said while the restaurant will offer Italian specialties, other cuisines would be featured.

“I’m looking at incorporating Spanish and Asian dishes to the menu,” he said. “I’m going to have a menu for fall and winter and another for spring and summer.”

Bill Clanton Jr., president of the Barnegat Chamber of Commerce, said, “It’s important to have a restaurant there because it’s next to the gazebo park, where there are numerous activities throughout the year. During the summer, there is the farmers market, and then in early September we have Pirate’s Day. You want to have businesses that will make people want to come back to Barnegat.”

Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday and 11 to 10 Thursday to Saturday.

For more information, call Gemelli at 609-994-2554.

— Eric Englund

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