Mon Alyssa Restaurant and Pizzeria has been owned and operated by the Alvarez family for four years. Chef/Owner Santos Alvarez, the patriarch of the Alvarez family, has been cooking professionally for more than thirty years. Born and raised in Los Reyes, Michoacán, Mexico, Santos’ first instructor in the culinary arts was his father who at one time was a sous chef in Chicago.
Wanting a better life and more opportunities for his family and himself, Santos immigrated to the United States in 1973. He cooked at various restaurants in Chicago and New York before moving in 1983 to New Jersey to be closer to several members of his family who had moved here.
Chef Santos’ dream of owning his own restaurant became a reality in 2007 when one of the establishments where he had previously worked for almost twenty years was offered for sale. The name of the restaurant, which opened in April 2007, has an interesting origin. In Italian the word mona means madam while in Spanish it means doll. Alyssa is the name of one of Alicia and Santos’ granddaughters.
The restaurant is truly a family operation. Santos is joined in the kitchen by his wife Alicia, his son Jonathan, and his brothers-in-law Javier and Raul. Alicia, his daughter, is the head waitress while his niece Adriana works as a hostess/bus girl. The eldest son Brian manages the pizzeria and restaurant and is in charge of catering and public relations.
The restaurant, which offers nightly dinner specials that are served in a casual atmosphere, is known for Chef Santos’ white Pasta E Faggioli. Pizzas, subs, and wraps are available as well as pasta, chicken, veal, seafood, steak, and lamb. Every entrée is cooked to order and dietary restrictions are catered to. On and off premises catering is also available as well as take out and free local delivery. Patrons enjoy the live music offered on the weekends. We pride ourselves on using only the freshest ingredients, offering exceptional food at moderate prices, giving impeccable service, and paying attention to details.
The owners and staff of Mon Alyssa believe in giving back to the community which supports them. Donations have been made to various local charitable causes, and members of the staff have helped to serve meals at various soup kitchens in the area. Thanks to the support not only of the other businesses in the community but also the local residents and the restaurant’s staff, the business has continued to grow and as a result has been able to give back to the community.