New location of Marabella opens in Winterville

A new location of Marabella Old World Pizza has opened at 781 W. Fire Tower Road, Winterville. It's near Pitt Community College, in the spot where a diner once sat.

The family-owned pizzeria has the same authentic Italian pizza, sandwiches and pastas as the original location which opened in 2009 at 1898-A Greenville Blvd., but the restaurant has a fresh new look.

"Old World Pizza" is the focus of the menu, served by the slice or as a whole pie. Two of the restaurant's award-winning specialty pizzas are the Grandma Pizza, a square-shaped thin-crust pan pizza with fresh and smoked mozzarella topped with fresh tomato sauce; and the Massimo, made with provolone and ricotta cheeses, Italian sausage, roasted garlic, olive oil and basil. The Marabella New York-style specialty pizza is loaded with pepperoni, sausage, beef, ham, bacon, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, mozzarella cheese, and tomato sauce.

Small specialty pizzas range in price from $10.40-$14.55. Gluten-free personal pizzas are available.

Marabella's sandwich menu features Italian specialties including calzones; stromboli, paninis; chicken focaccia; chicken parm, eggplant parm and meatball parm; and artisan sandwiches crafted with fresh meats and cheeses. Sandwiches range in price from $6.10-$7.80.

Pasta dishes include baked ziti; lasagna; manicotti; and pasta and meatballs. All pasta dishes cost less than $10.

The salad menu features garden salad, caesar salad, antipasto, and Mediterranean with kalamata olives and feta cheese.

Appetizers include Marabella's popular garlic knots, mozzarella sticks, and buffalo wings.

Pepsi products and ice tea are available; beer and wine will be added at a later date.

Marabella's breads and pizza dough are made on site, along with the fresh mozzarella, pastas, and the sauces for the pizza and pastas. All of the recipes were passed down for centuries from the family in Italy to artisan baker Nino Passalaqua -- who at age 80 still works in prep kitchens at both Marabella Old World Pizza and at Nino's Cucina Italiana, the family's fine dining restaurant at 511 Red Banks Road in Greenville.

Nino's sons Salvatore and Pietro Passalacqua and his son-in-law Massimo Mannino are the owners and operators of Marabella's locations in Greenville and Winterville, Nino's in Greenville, and Marabella's Italian Restaurant in Washington.

The new Marabella's restaurant building was designed by Pietro, a former architect. It's got lots of floor-to-ceiling windows, a black and white color scheme, wooden tables and chairs, and pendant lights. The kitchen -- which may be glimpsed from the dining room -- was designed with ease of work flow and productivity in mind.

"We learned from the other store about what would work best," Pietro said in an interview in the new dining room. "It was a collaboration with me, Sal and Massimo. We combined knowledge of architecture with our food knowledge to design a kitchen that we think can double the volume of (the Marabella's Old World Pizza location on) Greenville Boulevard."

Patrons enter the dining room and place their orders at a counter which displays pizzas ready to eat by the slice.

There's a drive-through window, and orders may be placed in advance by calling 252-214-7426 or online at

Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays.

It's all about the tradition of family and food at Marabella's. The restaurant's logo embodies that, with three triangles symbolizing pizza slices in the colors of the Italian flag (green, white and red) that form the shape of an "M" and represent the three owners.

There are plans to expand the Marabella concept in the future.

Jane Welborn Hudson, a native of Greenville, wrote The Daily Reflector's Hot Dish restaurant column for 12 years and the Greensboro News & Record's Short Orders restaurant column for 8 years. Email her at