At Mamma Flora’s Trattoria, customers can choose from fine entrees or slices of brick oven baked pizza. Pictured at right is owner Gary Gulak.

Gary Gulak’s vision for Mamma Flora’s Trattoria is to be as much a part of the community as the community is apart of it through making fresh, tasty, and classy food designed to fit the needs of the customers.

“We’re always trying to know the community a little better,” Gulak said.

Mamma Flora’s is located at 1750 North Olden, Ewing, to the right of Shop Rite. While it may be off to the corner, there’s a lot going on inside, like brick oven baked gourmet pizzas topped with mozzarella cheese, basil, garlic and olive oil like the Margherita pie ($7.75) or topped with sausage, mushroom, artichokes, tomato sauce and mozzarella like the Gio Special ($7.75).

“We take a lot of pride in it,” he said. “I love our pizza, the margherita is my favorite.”

The Italian restaurant opened in June of 2004 and has received much success. The inside features a front-end pizza kitchen complete with a brick oven, and elegant tables and booths fill out the rest of the walkway leading to a back dining area used for social functions.

Gulak’s love for Italian food comes from his mother’s side of the family, which is Italian.

This isn’t Gulak’s first restaurant, but he owned a previous Italian style restaurant in Pennsylvania. He finds the restaurant business to be exciting.

“The customer interaction and the high pace of it,” are what he finds particularly enjoyable. “It requires a lot of energy and there’s a lot of personal satisfaction.”

Although he handles mostly the front end of the restaurant he has worked with chefs and has coached for years.

The menu items are similar from Gulak’s past restaurant, but he has made some changes.

“It’s similar but a little more involved; it’s more prepared from scratch. There are no more prepared frozen foods.”

“We’re really just preparing things from scratch, if you order an alfredo or vodka dish we prepare it right away.”

Popular items include many of the pasta dishes, chicken or veal, the seasonal specialties and the brick oven baked bread.

A dish of penne or rigatoni topped with pomodoro sauce, and served with a soup or a salad is $8.75 for lunch or $11.75 for dinner.

The homemade sandwiches are also a lunchtime favorite, he said. A pizza steak sandwich, with melted mozzarella will cost $7.75.

Gulak’s favorite dishes involve veal. Head chef Marcel works with the sauces to transform a plain dish into a delight, he said.

They also cater and hold various functions, in their elegant-casual back sitting area. Parties previously held include political functions, fundraisers, birthdays, post-event celebrations and more. Last year the restaurant held a fundraiser for a family that lost their home to a fire.

“The community, we’re really involved in it.”

For patron’s listening pleasure, Mamma Flora’s has live music on Saturday nights, featuring anything from a singer to a three-piece band playing everything from R&B to 70s rock.

But what’s most important is that the restaurant is catered to any demographic, he said.

“It’s a nice comfortable atmosphere,” Gulak said. “People come in they know each other and its classy, but to be able to sit down and have pizza and a couple of sodas too.”

Mamma Flora’s is a BYOB establishment. It offers catering as well as all-day delivery. To reach Mamma Flora’s by phone, call (609) 434-1188.