It’s more than pizza: Famed Chef Sal Basile brings Italy to Red Bank

Cooking Channel’s Chef Sal Basile, who is also an authority in Italian cuisine, has opened his first Italian restaurant: Sally Boy’s. More than just a pizza place, Basile’s eatery serves freshly baked pastries, coffee drinks, grab-and-go breakfast and lunch, Italian specialties and Basile’s signature pizzas.

The star of the Cooking Channel’s shows “Pizza Cuz” and “Pizza Masters,” Basile is also the co-founder of Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, as well as numerous Italian specialty restaurants. The Sally Boy’s brand (named after his son and paying homage to Basile’s childhood nickname) is Basile’s futuristic vision come to life.

“We set out to create something truly different, so we started with something truly amazing. We’re more than a pizza joint — we’re an experience,” Basile said. “My vision was to create a marketplace of Italian foods that is considered the best of the best — the finest pizza fired in a state-of-the-art Ferrari-red Castelli oven hand-made and shipped directly from Italy; a grab-and-go menu that is fresh and unique each day; gourmet coffee; the freshest baked goods made on premises; Italian specialties that our diners talk about for days; and, of course, the best pizza that our guests have to see and taste to believe.”

Sally Boy’s offers Basile’s take on classic Italian cuisine he grew up preparing and eating — a mix of family recipes and new dishes — elevated by the highest-quality ingredients shipped directly from Italy. Sally Boy’s specialty pies include the classic Margherita; as well as Bella’s Broccoli Rabe; Nonna’s Eggplant pie; Concetta’s Chicken; Calabrian Sweet Heat; and a wide selection of white and other pies.

The experience goes beyond pizza. There are specialty rolls, Italian strombolis, burgers, hot dogs and cheesesteaks, which are made with freshly shaved ribeye. The eatery’s subs include hot classics like chicken; eggplant; meatball; and Italian sausage parmigiana, as well as cold subs like the Old School Italian and Red Bank Classic, named after the Red Bank Catholic High School, located down the road from the Sally Boy’s location. In addition, Sally Boy’s serves signature calzones and Basile’s specialty, the “Salzone,” which is a monster calzone filled with eggplant and cheese, topped with shaved parmigiano and a drizzle of imported Italian extra virgin olive oil.

Sally Boy’s utilizes state-of-the-art touchless technology, allowing customers to order at one of two kiosks or through their phone, and have the food brought directly to their table or packaged ready for take away. Sally Boy’s also boasts Red Bank’s only street-access late-night pickup window, located on East Front Street.

The restaurant is situated in the heart of Red Bank’s downtown Core Central Business District on the corner of East Front Street and historic Broad Street. The two-story building dates back to the 1940s, with improvements and façade restorations conducted throughout the years.

Longview Construction’s Bill O’Leary was contracted to oversee the construction and ensure the restaurant’s historical elements were preserved. Red Bank’s Stephen Raciti Architects was hired to fuse the building’s historic architecture with the necessary updates needed to offer a contemporary aesthetic.

Cahill Studio, an interior design and branding firm, paired industrial materials with contemporary hardware, countertops and light fixtures, all complementing the open kitchen design. Each floor is 1,200 square feet, with the second floor seating 22 people and featuring floor-to-ceiling retractable garage-style windows.

The entire preservation and restoration project represents multimillions of dollars invested back into the Red Bank community. Basile plans to open additional locations nationwide in the coming years, in addition to offering customers around the country the ability to order Sally Boy’s specialties and pizza and have them shipped anywhere within the U.S. through its online marketplace.

Sally Boy’s is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sunday through Wednesday, operating hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.