Reality Show Stars Do Their Own Thing With Pizza Nostra

Karen Gravano and RaMona Rizzo of "Mob Wives" have opened a Mafia-themed pizzeria in New Jersey.

Karen Gravano, daughter of "Sammy the Bull" Gravano, has partnered with a fellow "Mob Wives" star to launch a family-friendly pizzeria.


Two cast members of the VH-1 reality show, “Mob Wives,” are serving up pies you can’t refuse at Pizza Nostra, a pizzeria that opened in Totowa, New Jersey, on Dec. 1.

According to, RaMona Rizzo, the granddaughter of Benjamin “Lefty Guns” Ruggiero, and Karen Gravano, daughter of former Gambino crime family underboss Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano, opened the 45-seat eatery. It features family photos and newspaper clippings about the owners’ families and their connections to organized crime.

Rizzo, who appeared in two seasons of “Mob Wives,” told that she grew up in the restaurant industry. “From my father’s pizza business to my aunt’s successful restaurant, the food industry was something I was always around, so it’s important for me to accommodate to my customers to achieve a great dining experience and an atmosphere they will love.”



Rizzo was engaged to Gambino soldier Joseph Sciafani before he was arrested for dealing cocaine and sentenced to 15 years in prison. In 2013, the New York Post reported that Rizzo had been linked to the kidnapping and robbery of Shonte Gibson, who was allegedly abducted by “armed thugs” and stuffed into Rizzo’s SUV while Rizzo sat in the driver’s seat. The Post says Rizzo had allegedly given Gibson $10,000 to book blocks of hotel rooms for the NBA All-Star game, with the intention of rebooking the rooms for a huge profit. She reportedly became angry when Gibson never booked the rooms and didn’t return her cash.

In 2016, Rizzo filed a lawsuit against her former attorney, Tim Parlatore, alleging that he failed to retrieve $154,000 worth of her own jewelry that was confiscated by the federal government when they raided her home as part of their case against Sciafani.

Gravano was one of the original cast members of “Mob Wives,” which spawned spin-offs like “Mob Wives: The Sit Down,” “Mob Wives Chicago” and “Miami Monkey.” She published a memoir, “Mob Daughter: The Mafia, Sammy ‘The Bull’ Gravano and Me!”

Ryan Vargo, executive chef at Pizza Nostra, said the pizzeria will be a “family place” featuring old-school Italian dishes. “It’s wild,” he told I don’t watch reality TV myself, but I’m a huge Mafia buff.” He said customers will “get a glimpse of these people’s lives” at Pizza Nostra.

The restaurant’s name comes from the Italian term Cosa Nostra, a nickname for the Mafia, often used by its members, which means “our thing.”


Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

MOD Pizza Raises $400,000 in One Week to Feed Hungry Kids

The leading fast-casual chain is committed to providing 1 million meals in the next year.

Austin Restaurants Offer Latest in a Peck of Pickle Pizzas

Chefs at 40 North and La Barbecue have partnered to create the meat-free Spicy Pickle Pizza.

New Line of Eyeshadows Comes in 18 Shades of Pizza Toppings

Glamlite Cosmetics rolled out the Pizza Palette today, featuring shades like Pepperoni, Prosciutto and Meatballs.

New Pizza Tours Showcase the Best Pies in Des Moines

The Wow! Des Moines Pizza Tours will cover popular restaurants like Scornavacca's, Noah's Ark and RedRossa.

7 Ways to Prevent Employee Theft in Your Pizzeria

Expensive security cameras aren't the only solution. There are less intrusive ways to cure sticky fingers.

Pizza-Stuffed Burrata Isn't Just Weird for the Sake of Being Weird

Like many dishes at The Bedford, this inside-out pizza was designed with Instagram in mind.

Unknown Minnesota Songwriter Pens Hit Jingles for Little Caesars

Todd Millenacker was inspired to write his first song for the chain when he bombed out at a pizza-eating contest.

Survey Finds Italians Don't Limit Themselves to the Classic Margherita Pizza

More Italians like pizzas with multiple toppings.

Nashville Pizza Trio Planning to Expand Hip-Hop Concept to Atlanta

George R.R. Martin Lists His Favorite New York Pizza Joints

While the fantasy author's fans wait impatiently for his next book, the "Game of Thrones" creator dawdles over a cheese slice at Di Fara.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags