From New York City to Newton: Il Bambini Pizza is now open

From New York City to Newton: Il Bambini Pizza is now open

NEWTON, N.C. – A slice of New York City has come to Newton.

Newton welcomed Il Bambini Pizza to the city with a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, Feb. 6. The pizzeria is at Plaza Latina, 1901 Northwest Blvd., Suite V, on the 20th Street side of the plaza.

Dimas Chávez opened Il Bambini after spending 35 years at a Manhattan restaurant owned by an Italian family.

“I learned all the secrets,” Chávez said with a knowing grin as he ladled fresh plum tomato sauce on round of pizza dough and piled on shreds of mozzarella cheese he makes himself. “I’ve been busy since I opened. I’m happy.”

Customers lined up after the ribbon cutting to sample Chávez’s signature margarita pie, made with mozzarella, zesty tomato sauce and basil. Pizza toppings at Il Bambini include the usual pepperoni, sausage, onions and mushrooms, but the options extend to shrimp, capers, prosciutto, zucchini and chorizo. The menu also features calzones, stromboli, salads, hero sandwiches, pasta and more.

The story of how Il Bambini opened in Newton is, in part, a Facebook love story.

Chávez and Francisca Tapia met online in 2013 while he was living in New York City and she was living in the Newton area. A Facebook friend request led to his visit to North Carolina to meet her in person, which led to the sampling of some local pizzas. Chávez realized that with his knowledge of Italian cooking—and growing fondness for her—they could work together to bring something new to Newton.

Javier Chávez, owner of Plaza Latina, had been thinking a pizzeria would be a great addition to Plaza Latina. When he met Dimas Chávez, the two hatched a plan to open Il Bambini at the plaza.

Today, Dimas Chávez and Tapia oversee the restaurant together. He prepares his specialties and works the ovens; she takes orders and runs the cash register. They’re happy to be together, and they’re happy to be serving the people of Newton special dishes just like the ones he has prepared for New Yorkers most of his life.

“It’s a love story,” Tapia said. “God opened the door for us to meet and open a store here. And Mr. (Javier) Chávez—we think he’s an angel sent from God for us to be here.”

For more information, visit Il Bambini Pizza on Facebook.

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Dimas Chávez ladles fresh plum tomato sauce on scratch-made pizza dough at his new restaurant, Il Bambini Pizza.

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The city of Newton honored Il Bambini Pizza with a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, Feb. 6.

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Calzones, sausage rolls, stuffed pizza, spinach rolls and much, much more are on the menu at Il Bambini Pizza.

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Customers line up for Italian specialties at Il Bambini Pizza.

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Newton City Councilwoman Mary Bess Lawing lunches at Il Bambini Pizza, Newton's newest pizzeria.

Posted Feb. 9, 2014