Vinny’s banking on freshness

(May 1, 2015) Owner Vincent Sebastian uses recipes that have been passed down from generations of his family and cooks his menu items from scratch at Vinny’s Pizza and Italian Grill on 25th Street.

“We make everything from scratch with fresh ingredients from our own breads, tomato sauce, dressings and pastas,” Sebastian said. “We’re always trying new things and keeping everything fresh and simple.”

A variety of fresh hand-tossed pizzas line the menu in addition to sandwiches, ribeye cheesesteaks, subs with Boar’s Head deli meats, pasta entrees including lasagna, eggplant dishes, chicken parmesan, spaghetti and homemade meatballs.

When summer comes back around expect to see different daily specials including fresh fish. The Italian restaurant has partnered with Big Fish Grill, Sebastian said.

Sebastian has been honing his pizza making skills for more than 20 years. He got his start working in an uncle’s pizza shop in New Jersey.

“As a five-year-old, I was folding pizza boxes for a penny a box and remember making enough money to buy a candy from the machine nearby,” he said.

His great-grandmother came by boat to the United States from Naples, Italy and Sebastian has pictures of his family lining the walls.

“It’s a family restaurant and the memorabilia had been passed down through the family,” he added.

Vinny’s has been open since April 16, with most customers being friends or family.

“We are thankful for our family’s support,” Sebastian said.

Today, Vinny’s liquor license goes into effect activating a partnership with Burley Oak to offer three types of craft beers on tap.

Starting on Monday, May 4 and continuing until Friday, May 8, Vinny’s will be offering a local grand opening special on its New York style pizzas from open to close, for dine in or take out.

The special includes $5 for a personal pizza, mediums are $7 and $9 for a large.

“The grand opening special is to welcome everyone to come down and try us out,” Sebastian said.

During the season, Vinny’s will be offering breakfast with crepes, omelets and breakfast pizzas.

The space is intimate, with only a couple dozen tables lining the inside, outside and bar.

Vinny’s is located a block away from the Boardwalk and uses the Ocean City Ferris wheel and Boardwalk as its logo.

“We wanted something that said Ocean City and I feel the Ferris wheel is the landmark of this town,” Sebastian said.

Sebastian spent part of his childhood in Salisbury and visited the Ocean City beaches to surf as a kid. His parents moved to the Eastern Shore in 2000 and Sebastian’s siblings went to Stephen Decatur High School.

He had always wanted to open a restaurant in Ocean City, was constantly looking for open spaces and finally received a call from Peck Miller at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the middle of January with an offer to take over the property on 25th Street.

“We are looking forward to seeing everyone in the community,” Sebastian said. “We built this restaurant for the locals and it will be a place where they can get good pizza and Italian food throughout the entire year.”

Vinny’s Pizza and Italian Grill will be open seven days a week, year-around and its offseason hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on 25th Street. For more information call the restaurant at 410-390-3713.

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