In order to craft a truly authentic New York–style pizza, NYPD Pizza holds that only New York water will do. All of its kitchens boast a custom filtration system that replicates the flavor and character of Big Apple tap water, said to give the city's pizza and bagel dough its trademark flavor. At NYPD Pizza, that meticulously made dough is hand-tossed and baked inside of a classic stone oven. Similar care is put into selecting the rest of the ingredients—the kitchen strives to use only fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes, and employs exclusive cheese blends from Wisconsin and California.
The menu sports more than 15 specialty pizzas, many of which are New York–themed, such as the signature Brooklyn Family topped with pepperoni, sausage, and fresh basil. Other standouts include a Veganizza with veggies, Daiya vegan cheese, and an optional gluten-free crust, and a Pizza Blanca white pie with olive oil and crushed garlic. Slices of pizza, bites of Italian sandwiches, and family-size helpings of pasta all pair well with sips of NYPD Uptown Amber Ale, a craft beer brewed exclusively for NYPD Pizza by The Phoenix Ale Brewery.
According to legend, an elder Scriblioni was instrumental in building the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and its near failure got the family banned from construction in Italy. If it weren't for that, the story goes, the Scriblionis never would have gotten into the pizza business. Today, the kitchen crew at Mr. Scrib's Pizza crafts its classic pies using the exact same recipe the family perfected in 1961. The dough is made fresh every day, rather than once a month and preserved between the pages of a heavy book. Fresh veggies and a four-cheese blend adorn the tops of these pizzas, and fresh sausage made from a special family recipe is baked right on the pizza, instead of being pre-cooked and then frozen.
For more than 30 years, the pizza makers at Ray's Pizza have been hand-tossing and baking pies that hearken back to old-world Italy by way of New York. Their food can satisfy appetites for both thin- and thick-crust pizza with Neapolitan- and Sicilian-style slices, and curb Italian-food cravings with hot hoagies and pasta dinners. The Scottsdale location's interior is as warm and welcoming as the pies, with TVs, brick-covered columns, and archways that invoke a rustic, European vibe—like a palace painted light brown with cappuccino. The Glendale restaurant, on the other hand, boasts a full-length mural depicting the New York City skyline.
Led by their mom, Cassandra, brothers Mergim, Burim, Durim, and Agim turned a cache of generations-old family recipes into 4 Brothers Pizza & Mediterranean Restaurant. With these unique culinary formulas, the tight-knit clan infuses classic Mediterranean and Peloponnesian flavors into their sprawling lineup of Italian and Greek dishes, which includes flaky spanakopita, linguine with clam sauce, and creamy penne with chicken and broccoli. Each of the brothers also boasts a favorite pizza that bears their name, agreeing that whoever’s pie is the most popular gets to claim the remote control forever times infinity.
When food connoisseurs peg Italian food as "hearty," they aren't merely talking about pasta and cheese?they?re referring to the integral component of Italian cuisine: sauce. At Mama Gina's Pizzeria, cooks use a variety of sauces to lend heartiness to the menu's many classic items:
La Piazza Al Forno is serious about its brick-oven pizzas. So serious, in fact, that the pizzas' authenticity is certified by the True Neapolitan Pizza Association in Naples. The flatbread pies bake inside an oven that was built brick by brick according to the Neapolitan tradition. Topped with such ingredients as fresh basil, prosciutto, and caramelized onions, the pizzas are cooked using the same methods that would have been used in Pompeii 2,000 years ago. And word about the pies has spread—Guy Fieri featured the pizzeria on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in 2008.
Along with pizza, the restaurant serves a variety of pasta dishes and Italian entrees such as chicken marsala or shrimp, clams, and mussels in a red spicy sauce. All entrees arrive accompanied by housemade bread. The large brick oven—accented with black and white tiles—is unsurprisingly the main focal point in La Piazza Al Forno's dining room. Patrons can even sit at the brick-topped bar and watch the pizza-making process up close. Alternatively, visitors can dine semi-al-fresco on the enclosed, air-conditioned patio.