Bringing the North End to the North Shore

Posted: January 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Italian, Marblehead, Marketplace | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Today is the grand opening of Il Mercato, a unique Italian market in Marblehead. The brainchild of Donna Oliviero, who owns Caffe Italia, the market is located in what was the restaurant’s secondary dining area.

Oliviero has been planning the opening for almost a year, and she’s created a destination market by combining foods imported from Italy with take-home entrées and breads made fresh on premises.

The imported foods include olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, packaged almond and ladyfinger cookies (for making tiramisu), panettone, bags of dried oregano still on the stem, and soda in flavors like pear and apricot. There’s also a selection of imported dried pasta in large shapes not usually seen in the states.

A deli case contains prosciutto, mushrooms, anchovies, fresh mozzarella, and a large bowl of colorful olives. On top are arancini (rice balls), hot stuffed cherry peppers, and cannoli shells in two sizes ready to be filled.

Nearby is a selection of fresh-frozen pastas like fusilli, gnocchi, agnololotti, ravioli, manicotti from Original Gourmet Creation in Somerville. Oliviero’s tomato, bolognese, and pesto sauces are available to go with them, as are fresh-frozen porcini mushrooms.

In addition to selling the restaurant’s famous rolls and foccacia, the store carries Italian baguettes, multigrain ciabatta, and olive loaves. Two panini sandwiches are available each day: mozzarella/tomato/olive oil and the daily special. A selection of prepared dinners like lasagna, manicotti, stuffed shells, and meatballs are available to take home.

Oliviero is offering a huge variety of catering options, from antipasto trays and Italian cookies to entrees like chicken marsala and rolatini eggplant in sizes to designed to feed anywhere from 10 to 25 people. There is also a chef’s table that can be booked for between six and 14 people every night but Monday. The menu is designed with Oliviero to suit your party, starting with appetizer, entrée, salad, and two jugs of wine for $30 per person.

The market’s grand opening is today from 11:00 to 6:00, with a ribbon cutting at 4:00. Permanent hours are 11:00 to 6:00 Monday through Saturday.

Il Mercato / Caffe Italia
10 School St, Marblehead
(781) 631-5700


Dish Scoop: Caffe Italia to Open Italian Market

Posted: June 18th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Italian, Marblehead, Marketplace | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

Curious about some recent renovations at Caffe Italia in Marblehead, we spoke with Donna Oliviero, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband Anthony. Oliviero told us the right-hand side of the restaurant space will soon be converted into a market featuring prepared foods and Italian imports. More tables will be added to the bar side to accommodate diners.

Oliviero is understandably excited about the new venture, which will open in early August. For one thing, although she’s been in the restaurant business for 27 years, she has never tried a retail component. For another, this will be the only Italian market of this type in the area.

A large variety will be on offer in the market. Prepared dinners for one will be made fresh and ready to be heated at home ($7.95 each). A selection of à la carte prepared foods will also be available, including stuffed artichokes, stuffed peppers, and arancini.

Bakery items will include Italian bread, the restaurant’s popular dinner rolls, and biscotti. Two sandwiches will be made on the premises-baked bread every day: a daily special and the restaurant’s signature prosciutto, basil, and mozzarella.

Grocery items will include specialty jams, Italian sodas, and dried imported pasta. The restaurant’s pasta will also be available fresh and frozen, along with its tomato sauce, bolognese sauce, and pesto. Pasta and chicken dishes will be available for catering orders to feed anywhere from 10 to 40 people. And last but not least, prosciutto parma, parmesan reggiano cheese, and romano cheese will be sold by the pound.

Oliviero promised to keep us apprised about the exact opening date so we can report back with a review of the food and pictures of the new space.

Caffe Italia
10 School St., Marblehead
(781) 631-5700