There's something unmistakably Italian about Toscana Grill. Maybe it's the white marble and ebony wood accents in the dining room, or maybe it's the hospitality with which the servers greet each guest. In all likelihood, it's probably both of these things?plus a menu of northern Italian dishes crafted with local produce and herbs.
All of the traditional favorites are here, including eggplant parmigiana, spinach ravioli alfredo, and chicken marsala with mushrooms. But it's not all classics. There are also plenty of genre-bending pizzas, such as one topped with shrimp, white-wine sauce, butter, and garlic. A bottle of wine from the bar makes a perfect companion to any meal, especially if you dress it up like a person and pretend that it can talk.
For more than 35 years, Cafe Italia has served Italian dishes and carefully chosen wines under its shingled rooftop. Lunch and dinner entrees include crispy personal-sized pizzas, spaghetti with house-made tomato sauce, and steamed mussels. Chefs bake all bread in-house to accompany entrees such as the signature veal osso buco dish of tender veal shanks simmered in wine sauce and autographed by the chef.
Inside the dining area, hardwood floors support tables dressed in red or white cloths, and an enclosed patio overlooking the sidewalk lets diners drink in fresh air. Live music performances including acoustic guitar and piano and saxophone duets entertain diners every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday evening.
It's rare to hear the words "gourmet" and "kid-friendly" in the same sentence, but that is exactly what Pie-tanza strives to be. Indeed, adults and kids can both enjoy the novelty of sitting at the counter that surrounds Ed McKee and Karen Waltman's open kitchen and watching as chefs hand-stretch Neapolitan-style dough, slather it with chunky tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella, and slide it into the 600-degree wood-burning oven. It's the oven that makes these pizzas so authentic, producing the crispy, chewy, bubbly thin crust that is the hallmark of a true Neapolitan-style pie. Familiar enough for younger diners, the pies can also be made a little more refined, thanks to grownup-friendly gourmet toppings such as rosemary chicken and fresh basil, or tri-colored peppers and kalamata olives. The restaurant’s other authentic Italian eats include hearty baked pastas and sandwiches, which feature hot toasted sub rolls or fine leather wallets stuffed with slow-cooked meatballs, roast turkey, or prime rib and cheddar cheese. Of course, no Italian meal would be complete without dessert, so diners should save room for mini chocolate-dipped cannoli or a java-chip brownie sundae topped with crushed dark-chocolate-covered espresso beans.
In a culinary sphere dominated by dairy, Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza caters to vegan diners. Here, chefs twirl and slice vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free pizzas with crusts crafted in-house. Of course, they also bake traditional pies, including a white pizza topped with shrimp and local Chesapeake clams.
Pizza Boli's dough-slingers craft decadent yet trans fat–free pizzas with more than 20 classic and unusual ingredients. Build-your-own pizzas ($9.99+) drape themselves in coverings ($1.25+) such as pepperoni, bacon, italian salami, and feta. The creamy flavors of a gyro sandwich ($6.99) reappear in a greek pizza ($13.99–$17.99) bearing an unexpected combination of tzatziki sauce, four cheeses, olives, and gyro meat within an unprepossessing wooden horse. The Old Bay crab pizza ($13.99+) dips into the ocean and returns topped with crabmeat, tomatoes, and spring onions, all soaking in an Old Bay–seasoned alfredo sauce. Traditional Italian takeout flavors appear elsewhere in a pair of hearty pastas ($7.75+).
The high levels of artificial preservatives and chemicals in modern pizza are the number-two cause of crow’s feet and dry mouth in America. Today's Groupon gets you $20 worth of fresh, organic pizza for $10 at zpizza, an oasis of natural, full-flavored pie in a wasteland of modern preservatives. zpizza offers bubbly pizza that’s safe for vegans, vegetarians, the gluten-shy, and snooty gourmands. Handcrafted rusticas join hot and cold sandwiches, crisp salads, and pasta on a menu full of organic options.A: Awful pizza. B: Bad Pizza. C: Crummy Pizza. D: Dad, I don’t eat pizza, I’m vegan now. E: Eat it, Stephanie, your mother worked hard on that pizza. F: Forgivably bad pizza, made by enthusiastic children.G: Gosh, this pizza is bad. H: Hey, everybody! I found an almost-untouched pizza on the bus!I: Insufficient portions of pizza. J: Just kidding, I’m not dying. I just wanted you to come over because I can’t finish this pizza. K: King Ralph wouldn’t even eat this pizza, and Wikipedia defines him as an “easy-going slob”! L: Lackluster pizza. M: Mediocre pizza.N: Not very good pizza. O: Okay pizza. P: Pizza (Italian, pronounced pit.tsa) is a world-popular dish of Italian origin, made with an oven-baked, flat, generally round bread that is often covered with tomatoes or a tomato-based sauce and cheese. Other toppings are added according to region, culture, or personal preference. Originating from Italian cuisine, the dish has become popular in many different parts of the world. A shop or restaurant that primarily makes and sells pizzas is called a pizzeria. The phrases pizza parlor, pizza place, and pizza shop are used in the United States. The term pizza pie is dialectal, and pie is used for simplicity in some contexts, such as among pizzeria staff.Q: Quietly hand me the pizza, and no harm will come to your beloved tarantula. R: Respectable pizza. S: Satisfactory pizza. T: Tony! Why come’a you don’t talk’a with’a fake Italian accent for the nice’a customers? U: Unexpectedly good pizza.V: Very good pizza. W: Whoah, who made this pizza, an angel? X: X-rays are a government conspiracy to increase your xenophobia and make you purchase xylophones. Y: Yikes! This pizza is so good it’s scary! Z: (see above)