Something new is coming to the Fascino space at 331 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair. It’s called Gioia Mia — and if entering the space feels like coming home, it’s by design. Gioia Mia is a contemporary American restaurant by Chef Logan Ramirez and Manager Mary Cumella, who were part of the Fascino team. Now, it’s their turn to take the spotlight and make the space their own. Read on to learn more about this new concept from Mary and Chef Logan.
About Gioia Mia
The team behind Gioia Mia is no stranger to Montclair or the restaurant business. In fact, they’ve been behind the scenes at Fascino all along. The Gioia Mia concept was created by Mary Cumella (General Manager) and Logan Ramirez (Chef De Cuisine) of Fascino. Chef Logan Ramirez dedicated his culinary career to crafting creative, contemporary cuisine. Chef Logan has trained at many prestigious restaurants such as Gramercy Tavern and The Highlawn Pavillion to name a few. The Jersey City native was a Sous Chef under Chef Ryan DePersio at Battello, and was the Chef De Cuisine of Fascino before the transition.
Chef Logan Ramirez + Mary Cumella, Photo Credit: Zack Pearl @thebacyard
Mary, who is from Brooklyn, and Logan are a couple and started running Gioia Mia as a pop-up starting in March 2023. The paperwork to take over the restaurant was completed behind the scenes, but the idea for the concept came right from the heart.
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“Gioa Mia translates to ‘my joy.’ My grandmother would exclaim those words while watching her loved ones enjoy her Sunday dinners,” Mary said. “She kept her kitchen door open to everyone, any time of day. Anyone in need of midnight counsel and stovetop cappuccinos could knock on her door and be welcomed in as family. Her love for watching family and friends come together through food was the main reason I got into the hospitality industry.”
Mary lost her grandmother in the fall of 2022 so being able to open the restaurant is her way of honoring her grandmother’s legacy.
What to Expect
“We’re just focusing on more seasonal, farm-to-table ingredients, as opposed to traditional Italian,” Mary said. “I would identify it as Contemporary American since there’s influence from all types of cuisines. We’re still making all pastas in-house using the best flours imported from Italy. We have some Asian-inspired dishes, as well as a huancaina (Peruvian) sauce on our chicken dish. We also have a chicken liver mousse that people are going crazy for. We tried to keep the menu creative, yet approachable, and have something for everyone.”
Photo Credit: Zack Pearl @thebacyard
The physical space and layout are the same as at Fascino and some of the staff, too. “Some of the staff have been here since the beginning of Fascino,” Mary said. “As of right now, the decor is the same. We will update eventually, but it’s just not in the budget right now. We are going for a classy/chic/dainty/vintage vibe. But that likely won’t happen until after New Years.”
Photo Credit: Zack Pearl @thebacyard
Mary went on to say, “Logan and I are very picky eaters since we’ve both worked in the industry for a while. We love going out to eat but hate going to places that serve food we can make just as good at home. Aside from eating at one of Chef Ryan’s or Robbie Felice’s restaurants, we often find ourselves traveling over an hour to the city every week just to get good food. Our main goal is to bring upscale, NYC-style dining to New Jersey in a casual, approachable setting, and I think we’re most excited about that.”
Mary’s favorite menu item: Chicken Liver Mousse
Logan’s favorite menu item: Pork Chop
Gioia Mia is located at 331 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair and is open Wednesday and Thursday 5PM-9PM, Friday 5PM -10PM, Saturday 4PM-10PM, and Sunday 4PM-8PM. Reservations are available on RESY.