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Tony Rivoli's Dream Comes True

The longtime restaurant owner finally got a liquor license, but not in Toms River.

For the longest time, Tony Rivoli wanted a liquor license.

It may not have been for his restaurant of 20 years on Fischer Blvd. in Toms River, because the building may be a bit too small.

It may not have been anywhere in Toms River, because the price of a liquor license there is rather expensive.

So when the opportunity presented itself in the Ramtown section of Howell, at what was formerly known as the Hungry Qual, Rivoli could not pass up the chance to get what he's always wanted.

Tony Rivoli opened Rivoli's Grill & Chill on Oct. 1, fulfilling his dream.  And when you see him at his place, you can tell he is a happy man.

Being content may be more like it.

He enjoys his new establishment, much as he does Rivoli's in Toms River, which has been legendary for its large portions of wonderful food.

Rivol's Grill & Chill is a bit different, other than a bar  which Rivol's in Toms River does not have.  Rivoli's Grill and Chill is more casual, more pub-ish in style, which attacts sports fans and families alike.

"It's got a great family-style atmosphere," said bartender Gary Zappi of Howell. 

True to his word, he's right.  It's comfortable and everyone seems to blend together without a harsh word being said.

A patron who declined to give his name says the people at Rivoli's "are awesome."  Adding, "everyone is very personable.

"He, too, loves the family-style atmosphere since he lives close by and enjoys everything about this new venture in town.

"It's exactly what we wanted it to be," said Tony Rivoli, who truly knows how to run a business in the proper way.

Casual, friendly, good food, clean place ... that was their goal when they first opened for business in Howell.

It pleases Tony Rivoli that he and his staff were able to achieve the desired goal.

"I couldn't be happier," he said.

Everyone who works for  Tony Rivoli has the same persona.

That's always a very good sign.

Zappi and fellow bartender John Clayton of Belmar are great behind the bar and waitress Kelly Schreck is a delight.

I toyed with Ms. Schreck while I tried to make up my mind to order.  She also gave me some good advice as to what is best on the menu.

I finally settled on the Drunken Clams ($11) as an appetizers.  I should have ordered a second dish they were so good.

After passing on a salad and bread (I think I'm on a diet), I finally settled on a 20 oz. porterhouse steak, which I could have gotten "smothered" or not.

I got the smothered (potatoes, green peppers and onions) as a side dish and the porterhouse steak cooked medium.

The steak was cooked perfectly -- so rare in restaurants these days -- and I nibbled at the "smothered" dish.

Let me tell you, there were no complaints from me, not a one.

I don't think that surprised me because Rivoli's in  Toms River is outstanding, too.  I thoroughly enjoyed the clams and steak, and had my eye on the prime rib special ($12) of the night, billed on a "Guys Night Out" menu.

It was so good, and the people I met at the bar so friendly, that I know I'll make repeated visits.  Let's face it, good places are so hard to find.

And I found this one.

. September 05, 2011 at 08:02 PM
I hope it is better than Rivoli's in Toms River. That is the absolute worst! People think a big plate of food is good food. How wrong they are.
1stcav September 05, 2011 at 09:58 PM
The article is from April 6th, why is it even on this page since it's Sept.5th ??????This some how is news TODAY ?
Catherine Galioto (Editor) September 05, 2011 at 11:25 PM
This story is from the archives. Often folks searching all manner of search terms find an old article and comment on it as they wish. But it's not featured anywhere on the site today. If you ever have a problem finding news from today, this page is chronological with the most recently posted article first: http://tomsriver.patch.com/news Thanks.
foodie46 January 27, 2013 at 03:28 AM
Obviously Gary Zappi hasn't been trained in customer service, you never tell a customer I can't do anything for you and you don't have to come back if you don't want to because you found a piece of yarn in your food...Really?! Do you think I would even consider it?

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