Tracing its lineage back to 1939, Lelli’s remains in the hands of its original founders, the Lelli family, and continues its culinary tradition of rich, Northern Italian steak-house fare. Skilled chefs and servers prepare and present à la carte dishes such as juicy filet mignon, fresh seafood, and house-made egg pastas draped with rich tomato and cream-based sauces, or bookend European-style six-course meals with antipasto and palate-cleansing spumoni. The dimly lit dining room plays host to private events, corporate dinners, and family meals, and frames feasts with light that glints from candles and crystal chandeliers, reflecting off of cherry-wood furnishings and roosting in the folds of alabaster tablecloths.
Valentino’s satisfies pasta pangs with an extensive menu of authentic, homemade Northern Italian dishes. Guests can slide into the dining experience with the spedieni, a layered concoction of bread, mozzarella, and egg paired with lemon, olives and a butter sauce ($6.95) or dive right in with Salmon Antonio’s ensemble of grilled artichoke hearts, garlic, and capers in a succulent lemon white-wine sauce ($18.95). Homemade meat-and-cheese lasagna ($14.95) invites traditional gorging, whereas the linguine alla vongole, an aquatic pasta dish of fresh littleneck clams in a white or red clam sauce ($15.95), sates seafarers. Elegant white tablecloths and chandeliers set the stage for noodle tug-of-wars to decide who gets the last meatball, and sweets such as a cannoli or tartoufo—a dollop of vanilla ice cream surrounded by frozen chocolate mousse—cap off meals.
In the spirit of Italian kitchens everywhere, Alfoccino’s serves up hearty, homemade food…and lots of it. Each entrée comes with the restaurant’s freshly baked garlic bread and bottomless salad drizzled with house-made Italian dressing. The menu spans the breadth of Italian cuisine with various pastas, sautéed perch and artichokes in a lemon, butter, and wine sauce, and homemade minestrone. But, according to a digitalcity.com review, “…the pizza is what does a lot of the talking here.” Chefs bake the crust first, then top it with sauce, cheese, meats, and veggies before returning it to the oven. Alfoccino’s extensive wine list includes a selection of more than 20 wines available by the glass, bottle, or sippy cup.
The Tomato Kitchen's multifaceted menu of pastas, pizzas, fresh salads, and barbecued meats ferries flavors from the reaches of Italy, Greece, and the regional United States. Chefs melt the lasagna's layers of mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan cheese between heaps of italian sausage and meat sauce ($13.99); duos can order a sharable portion by taking tinier bites or adding greek salad, breadsticks, and fresh sautéed veggies ($19.99). With the barbecue-rib dinner ($10.99–$11.99), diners chomp and slurp their way through a kansas city spare rib or wichita baby back soaked in zesty barbecue sauce, framed by seasoned fries and doughy breadsticks. On the gorgonzola salad ($5.99–$12.99), a hodgepodge of roma tomatoes, imported gorgonzola cheese, and caramelized onions canoodle atop a field of romaine leaves dewed in virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Like Homer, diners craft their own cheesy odysseys ($12–$20) with two-for-one pizzas and a gargantuan selection of garnishes such as pepperoni, olives, and fresh garlic ($1.50 each).
In 1972, the Mannino family got a Christmas gift they’ll never forget: a pizza parlor. Today, it’s still operated by the family of Joseph and Pietrina Mannino and continues to serve pizzas, pastas, and barbecue chicken and ribs. Their carryout and delivery menu, available seven days a week, makes hosting game day parties rather easy, and the catering menu accommodates larger parties. For instance, their taco bars and pasta platters can feed the entire city of Detroit, if 99% of Detroit’s citizens go on vacation at the same time.