OCEAN CITY – Osteria Fraschetti, located on Route 50 in West Ocean City, promises fine dining style at a casual dining price. With the freshest ingredients, Italian ambience, and friendly staff, owners Alex Fraschetti and Demetrios “Jimmy” Dikos promise an enjoyable evening of authentic, Italian food.
Formerly Mulligans Sports Bar and Grill, Fraschetti and Dikos took over the location in April 2003, bringing with them ample restaurant experience.
“I came to this country in 1961 and I liked the restaurant business. It’s a lot of work, a lot of hours, but you eat free and meet a lot of people. That’s what I like, the people,” said Dikos, who operated a restaurant in New Jersey before coming to Ocean City.
Fraschetti also brought restaurant experience with him, having been an Ocean City proprietor for many years.
Fresh ingredients and fresh food are paramount at Osteria Fraschetti, from the fresh seafood to the freshly made salad dressings.
“We make everything by order, everything fresh,” said Fraschetti, as he prepared his homemade tiramisu.
Each of the sauces are made daily as well, from a variety of fresh ingredients. As for the restaurant favorite, both Fraschetti and Dikos agreed that veal is the popular menu item.
“Everybody loves the veal,” said Dikos.
The restaurant has undergone some changes since the pair took over, transforming from a sports bar and grill to a fine dining, Italian restaurant.
“We converted it so everything is the same atmosphere,” said Dikos.
“We redid the place completely, from the flooring to the ceiling,” added Fraschetti.
Dikos pointed out the Italian decotr, fresh flowers and linen tabletops.
“When you walk in the restaurant, you feel Italy,” said Dikos. “It’s fine dining, but the price that we charge is not fine dining.”
From Monday through Thursday, 12 menu-items are priced at $10.95. Each entrée includes family-style salad with homemade dressing and ciabatta bread with extra-virgin olive oil. Happy hour specials begin at 3 p.m. when the bar opens, continuing when the restaurant opens at 5 p.m.
Both Fraschetti and Dikos attributed the restaurant success to their employees.
“They’re hard workers, they give all they have to create a great product, which they do,” said Fraschetti.
Fraschetti also noted the hard work of his daughter, Cristina, who has taken an active role in the restaurant.
“She helps out with so many things,” he said, noting the famous Caesar salad recipe that she has mastered.
As for the co-owners, the work is split up with Fraschetti running the front of the restaurant and Dikos manning the kitchen.
“He’s the one who makes the kitchen run,” Fraschetti said of Dikos. “The food comes out good because he runs the kitchen so well.”
Osteria Fraschetti isn’t the only dining option; the pair also owns the pizzeria next store, J&J’s Brick Oven Pizza, which has met rave reviews since opening.
“We hear people from Salisbury talking about our pizza,” said Fraschetti of their brick oven pizza which is quickly becoming an area favorite.
“It’s the best pizza around,” agreed Dikos.
The secret is in the brick oven, wood fire cooked pizza, noted Fraschetti. “There’s a big difference, that’s why it’s the best pizza,” he said.
Both attributed the pizza’s success to Vincent Sebastian, who runs the pizzeria.
“He does a very good job over there,” said Fraschetti.
Specials are also featured at J&J’s. Currently the special is two medium pizzas for $11.99 and two large pizzas for $14.99.
Whether its pizza or dining in with fresh Italian, Dikos and Fraschetti encourage everyone to stop in for a taste.
“We like the people to come in, taste our food and get to know who we are. We have a good product at a good price,” said Fraschetti.
Dikos assured patrons will not be disappointed by their experience, whether it be at Osteria Fraschetti or J&J’s Brick Oven Pizza.
“Come join us and you’ll be delighted with the food, the atmosphere and the service. You’re not going to be disappointed,” added Dikos.