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Zio’s Tuscan Grille Opens—Let the Uncles Serve You

Two guys are rustling up fresh salads, succulent sandwiches and hearty pastas in a refurbished eatery on Route 130.

Ten women of mixed ages hired as waitstaff are getting a tutorial on the computerized cash register. Three muscular guys are shouldering cases of iced teas and sodas for stocking in the refrigerators. Cooks are hearing final changes to the menu. 

Owners Angelo Duva and Roger Parrillo are hot on the heels of rolling out Cinnaminson’s newest restaurant, Zio’s Tuscan Grille, slated for an opening on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

The guys are resolved to add to the niche of new eateries recently moving into the township.

The Italian restaurant has settled into a space in the Plaza on Route 130 formerly housed by Palombo’s Italian Kitchen & Pizzeria. But, very little remains from the prior restaurant. 

The modern interior has been revamped with a dark, classic beadboard beneath walls the color of lemon. Brown cafe tables and chairs are assembled amid moss and eggplant-colored booths. A granite counter with stools frames the front brick oven. 

The ambience is laid-back and cozy and can easily feed around 120.

Both Duva and Parrillo are experienced restauranteurs. Duva has owned linen-clad Marco Polo Restaurant in Elkins Park, PA, for six years. For eight years, Parrillo has been the master at Rustic Grille in Medford.   

The men have know each other for years. But this is their first collaboration, if you don’t count their family connection—the men are married to sisters. Hence, the restaurant's name Zio, which translates to uncle in Italian.

“The hardest part was coming up with the name," says Duva, 54, an affable guy, whose speech is lightly peppered with an accent from his early upbringing in Italy. “But Zio seemed appropriate—between us, we have six kids."

Parrillo—who originally hails from Chestnut Hill, PA, and spent some time in the construction business—says that he has worked on the logistics of the project, while Duva has concentrated mostly on the food.

“We both have been involved in restaurants and thought we would join forces this time,” Parrillo, 44, says, the more reserved of the two. “We have each brought our strengths."

He adds, “It takes a lot of hours to open a restaurant.” 

Indeed.

Both Duva and Parrillo say it’s been nearly a year of planning and working with the township—of which they both say was an uncomplicated endeavor.

“I had tried to open a place in Moorestown about 25 years ago,” Duva says of their choice to open in Cinnaminson and not Moorestown—where the men reside with their families. “But at the time they didn’t want any restaurants opening on Main Street.”

“As soon as we knew we wanted to open a spot in Cinnaminson, the township was very accommodating,” Parrillo says. 

Both owners were pleased to see the building owners add curbing, install new lights and repave the blacktop in the strip mall. 

Duva—who immigrated to the States from the Campania Region of Italy with his parents when he was 19—began working in restaurants when he was 12. He attended Drexel University for two years, and then decided to return to the restaurant scene. 

A good restaurant owner knows the difference between just cooking and really satisfying his customers, says Duva, who has hired 25 locals to work in the cafe.

“In my restaurant in Elkins Park, we use fresh foods and cook our pastas to order, which we will do here,” Duva boasts. “With something this personal, you have to get it right.” 

Zio’s menu toes the delicate line of tasty dishes prepared at reasonable prices. 

Duva and Parrillo will be hosting all types of pizza. At less than $10, salads, burgers, hoagies, and hand-carved steak sandwiches will be offered.

Some signature entrees will be the pork chop milanese and Zio’s roasted chicken. Freshly grilled salmon and flounder francaise will be served with roasted vegetables. Entrees will range mostly from $10-$23.  

“I’m telling people to go out and vote this Tuesday,” Duva says laughing, “grab a bottle of wine and then come here and eat.”

Ray Budden November 07, 2011 at 02:37 PM
Thank you for the article Catherine. Tuesday is bowling night, so I will have to try Zio on Wednesday or Thursday.
John Sieger November 07, 2011 at 03:16 PM
Can't wait to try it out!
FbS November 07, 2011 at 03:44 PM
me too!!!! Way to go guys! Good luck
Jennifer November 07, 2011 at 04:09 PM
So excited for something new in Cinnaminson! Can't wait to try it.
Alison Perry November 07, 2011 at 04:09 PM
C'ent Ani and welcome to the neighborhood Zio's Tuscan Grille! Can't wait to give it a try!
Catherine Laughlin November 07, 2011 at 04:28 PM
Ray, It was my pleasure!
remo November 07, 2011 at 04:46 PM
Welcome Zio's! I read the article with great interest and noticed that they owners went out of their way pointing out the cooperation of the Township. They also mentioned the improved shopping center. I guess this article disproves the allegation by some on this site that Cinnaminson is unfriendly to business. Congratulations to Committeeman Minniti on filling another empty storefront! Keep up the good work
Don Brauckmann November 07, 2011 at 07:04 PM
Another day, another new business opens in our Route 130 corridor. Welcome and thank you for choosing Cinnaminson to open your business. My family and I use to frequent the old Palumbo’s regularly and we can’t wait for you to open. Best of Luck!
another resident November 07, 2011 at 07:27 PM
What happened to Bo's Wok?
Christina Paciolla (Editor) November 07, 2011 at 07:39 PM
It closed. I haven't been able to get in touch with any owners. I heard from some township officials they have been struggling for a long time now. That's all I know. But we're sure excited about Zio's. I missed Palumbo's myself so this is great!
FbS November 07, 2011 at 11:36 PM
darn. We loved Bo's Wok..
JoanneF November 08, 2011 at 12:37 AM
Or maybe he was asked leading questions. Why would a brand new business trash the commitee? They're trying to start a business, it would be silly to say anything negative. Can't wait to try it.
Sam November 08, 2011 at 12:45 AM
"One in One out", Cinnaminson Township Committee Motto. Welcome Shoprite good bye Acme, Welcome Hibachi Grill good bye Bo's Wok. I doubt Bo's Wok would leave after renovations. Good luck to you Zio's Grille!
MaryAnn November 08, 2011 at 01:21 AM
That’s right Mr. Incompetent, keep showing the world and our new business owners your lack of class. Christina said Bo’s Wok has been struggling for a while as many businesses have in this economy. Did you help being a consumer to support this Cinnaminson business or do you just complain after it closed? Get a grip! Support our local business. It’s up to us to make them successful, even you Mr. Complainer! Welcome to our town Zio’s and good luck.
Lindsey November 08, 2011 at 01:27 AM
I loved Bos Wok. Dont like the new buffet place.
Steve Fowles November 08, 2011 at 03:57 AM
Best of luck to these new business owners. Support your local businesses Cinnaminson residents, this place looks like it has great potential!
Christina November 08, 2011 at 11:30 AM
My husband and I are friendly with the owners of Bo's Wok. They closed because the cook wanted to retire and Judy the co-owner told us they couldn't find a cook that would work for same pay. We are going to miss Bo's so sad .
Michael Makinson November 08, 2011 at 12:55 PM
Welcome to town Zio’s Tuscan Grille. Best of luck. To all readers, when deciding where to dine please give our local privately owned establishments priority over the big chain food factories elsewhere. Theses businesses owners are paying taxes here and hiring our neighbors.
Michael Makinson November 08, 2011 at 12:59 PM
To: The Incompetents: The Acme was in trouble long before Shop Rite came on to the scene. Shop Rite just pushed it over the edge with a bigger store, better products and a larger selection. Many Acme's closed throughout the Delaware Valley, not just the one in Cinnaminson.
Lovinlife November 10, 2011 at 01:18 AM
Just had dinner at Zio's tonight...it was fantastic! We look forward to many more experiences. Welcome Zio's!
Amy Whelan Mcgovern November 15, 2011 at 01:52 AM
can't wait to try the pizza. I had a sample at Cinnaminson day and the sauce was so fresh! Welcome and is there a website yet?
Amy Whelan Mcgovern November 15, 2011 at 01:55 AM
Please start getting the menus out!
Jim Zenkowich November 17, 2011 at 12:11 AM
Went today. The best Pizza I ever had.

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