SHREWSBURY, Mass. — The pizzas aren't round, and the kitchen isn't sequestered in the back of the building. But the managers and owners of 2Ovens restaurant in Shrewsbury believe that, aside from fresh ingredients, those idiosyncrasies are the restaurant's biggest draw.
The offshoot of the Northborough-based Bertucci's chain, 2Ovens opened at White City Plaza in December. Where Bertucci's is an Italian-style restaurant, 2Ovens has more eclectic inspirations, with menu items including black pepper shrimp with spicy pineapple and chop salad with cucumber wasabi dressing. “We have a barbecue pork pizza with apples that's to die for,” managing partner Giovanni Cefalo said.
“2Ovens was an opportunity for us to leverage what we're best at, which is brick oven cooking,” executive chef Jeff Tenner said. “That's all we do here. There's no other cooking method. There's no grill, nothing other than what you see here, which are the two ovens.”
The menu is streamlined. Three salads, four sandwiches, shared plates of veggies and meats from one of two gas- and wood-fired brick ovens, plus pizzas. The two ovens, for which it is named, sit in the middle of the restaurant, surrounded by the wraparound bar.
All beers and wines are on tap. Although its not common to have wine exclusively available on tap, Tenner said the first glass from the keg is as fresh as the last, and the wine is all temperature-controlled.
Pizza, naturally, is a big seller. Dough is made fresh daily and ferments for 24 hours. Every other hot menu item—even the burgers—are made to take advantage of the high heat that comes out of the oven, Tenner said.
The brick ovens, powered with a combination of red and black oak and gas, are hot enough to bake a pizza in about two minutes.
This is the first 2Ovens, although there are plans to open another location in Newton.
Shrewsbury was a good place to start the chain, because it is adjacent to Worcester and in a location with a large population of 17- to 34-year-olds, Tenner said.
“It's great for your guest-base, but you also have a great workforce,” he said. “We have an incredible group of bartenders and cooks and servers that all live locally. That's not true everywhere. What a difference to have your employees live and work in the same town.”