For pizza chef Ira Mensh, it’s all about the heat. And the ingredients. And, of course, the customer. But mostly, it’s about the brand new imported Italian rotating brick oven that is used to cook almost everything on the menu at his new pizzeria, Supremo, on Route 54.
“My pizza oven is the only one [of its kind] in the area,” explained Mensh. “I cook at 850 degrees — that’s the difference.”
With that kind of heat, Mensh can cook a pie in around three minutes, and up to 200 of them in an hour.
“It’s all about the temperature,” said Mensh, describing the oven as new technology with an old-school taste. “Most pizza places are conveyer belts. They cook about 500 degrees — 600 max if they’re lucky. Other brick ovens use wood. With my oven, with the spinning base of it, there’s never a cold spot.”
After the pizza is finished cooking, it goes on a special tray designed to let the steam out so the crust stays crispy. The process is so efficient that Supremo does everything to order — typically waiting until customers arrive to toss in their pie.
“I like to see when they’re coming. I like showing them. It’s a little more of a show,” explained Mensh. “It’s fresh. Reheated, it’s not the same. Even if I were to reheat a slice, it would take three minutes in one of those regular ovens.”
Mensh has been around Italian cuisine throughout his life, getting his start during college at a fine-dining restaurant in Washington, D.C., before moving on to study the art with a three-time national award-winning pizza chef. It’s that same cuisine that he’s bringing to Fenwick Island and Selbyville — just at an affordable price and in a casual carry-out atmosphere.
“I’m doing the same stuff, but with paper plates,” he explained. “I’ll have specials during the week for locals.”
But pizza isn’t the only thing that Supremo offers, even though most of their menu is cooked using the rotating oven — including brick oven wings and Mensh’s signature fresh eggplant entrée.
“Everything I do is out of that oven,” he explained. “Every day, I do hand-cut steaks, I do fresh chicken. All my ingredients are fresh — spinach, eggplants, mushrooms. It’s all in the product.”
Exhibiting his “all in the product” philosophy, Supremo even gets the rolls for their hand-cut cheesesteak subs fresh daily from Philadelphia.
“They last for a day. There’s no preservatives in them,” he explained. “If you’re from Philadelphia, that’s the roll.”
Supremo even has an answer to some of the other traditional pizza sides, such as breadsticks and cheese-bread, offering traditional Italian focaccia bread topped with olive oil and garlic and served with marinara sauce. Like the pizza, the side dish is made to order and ready in less than three minutes.
For patrons in search of healthy options, the shop also offers a wide variety of entrées and salads, including a caprese salad made with fresh mozzarella and tomato. There are even some items for customers with a sweet tooth, such as Supremo’s fresh-made chocolate chip cookies and homemade cannoli.
“I’m just trying to be a little bit different, but with paper plates,” Mensh said, summing up the concept of taking traditional Italian cuisine and catering it to the local area in a casual atmosphere. “People want fresh ingredients — pick out what you want; you can chose the ingredients, as opposed to the pre-made stuff.”
While Mensh said that he expects to primarily do carry-out orders, there is restaurant seating, and delivery is available up and down Route 54, from Coastal Highway to Selbyville on the west end. Located in the same shopping center as Scotty’s Bayside Tavern, Supremo will even deliver right to the bar.
The shop is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily but expects to extend hours during the summer season. They’re located at 36666 Bluewater Run in Selbyville, right on Route 54. To place an order for carry-out or delivery, call (302) 564-7656.