Red Bank, New Jersey residents have been graced with the ever-indulging B2 Bistro + Bar since the restaurant opened on Shrewsbury Avenue three years ago. Fans of the popular eatery are now gearing up for their second location opening its doors in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey this spring. Co-owner and Executive Chef, Cesare “Chez” De Chellis provides details on what to expect from the new hotspot.
Continuing to operate as 709, while in the process of transitioning to B2 Bistro + Bar, the Point Pleasant Beach facility serves a wide variety of dishes prepared by Executive Chef Meg Lamanna, who’s family opened the restaurant in 2012. Lamanna will continue as Executive Chef Lamanna after the transition to B2 Bistro + Bar, with guidance from De Chellis, along with operating partner Stephen Valentine. As for the overall design of the restaurant, there will be major changes to the property that differ from the Red Bank location – which he operates with business partner Russell D’Anton – including plans to update the entranceway and complete renovation of all dining areas.
De Chellis is no stranger to the restaurant industry, with an impressive background of his own. “I always knew I wanted to cook,” said De Chellis who developed much of his cooking skills from his family. “My dad always supported me. I remember being mesmerized watching my dad cook in the kitchen.” The young chef even took a year off from high school to pursue his love for cooking, helping out at his aunt’s restaurant in Italy, where he has dual citizenship. “Italy was the best experience that I ever had,” said De Chellis. “It really solidified what I wanted to do; I learned a lot.” Graduating at the top of his class at the Culinary Institute of America in 2004, De Chellis cultivated his skills in the kitchen working with Executive Chef Don Pintabona (formerly of Tribeca Grill, New York) and Chef Jimmy Canora (formerly of Delmonico’s, New York) at Valentino’s on the Green in New York. “As a sous chef, you start running the restaurant, taking the chef’s job and essentially running them out of the kitchen a little bit,” said De Chellis about what he learned working alongside top ranked chef’s. “I want to see B2 Bistro + Bar continue to be successful and grow!”
De Chellis has a lot of plans up his chef’s coat in the culinary department for Red Bank and Point Pleasant Beach guests. He regularly updates the menu four times a year. “I am constantly changing the menu because we get bored,” said De Chellis. “I want to keep it fun, innovative, and new for the repeat customers.” To keep each dish fresh and unique, the New Jersey native creates a base B2 Bistro + Bar menu including restaurant favorites. He then has free range to add whatever else he would like. “Mentoring is a big part of what I do here. I want to give back to the younger community so they can grow as well,” said De Chellis. “We are all learning constantly from each other. The moment you stop learning is when you got to hang it up.”
De Chellis is especially particular in the ingredients used in his recipes making sure that they are the freshest for his customers. “I want people to know that when they come to see me, they are getting the highest quality food at the lowest quality price,” said De Chellis. “I’m always in search for the best quality ingredients trying to create sustainability as well.” The duo agrees that the Point Pleasant Beach menu will be based on whatever is in season, with plans of introducing fresh farmto-table ingredients, a wood burning oven and localized pork and meats to the menu. “All of my recipes are based on my travels,” said De Chellis. “You’ve got to cook from the heart and food has to make you feel something.” As construction is about to begin at the Point Pleasant Beach location, the partners also plan to open another B2 Bistro + Bar in West Reading, Pennsylvania. “I want to build something that feels like home, or like guests are dining at their friend’s home,” said De Chellis about his vision for the restaurants.
B2 Bistro + Bar is located at 141 Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank, New Jersey. Guests can visit 709 at 709 Arnold Avenue in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey until the last week of April/early May when it is scheduled to relaunch to B2 Bistro + Bar. Go to their website for more information at http://www.b2bistro.com/.