When Ciro Cozzi and Sal Del Deo opened up a cozy basement restaurant in Provincetown in 1956, they thought they were financing a future art career, not establishing an institution that would win over the hearts of tourists, locals, and celebrities for over 60 years. Soft light bounces off the brick walls of the Kiley Court cellar to illuminate the straw-wrapped fiasco bottles, which hang above guests as they savor dishes of fine North Italian cuisine. Plates of spicy puttanesca, delicate broiled fish, roasted chicken, and grilled steak burst with the flavors of local ingredients alongside lemon, garlic, and fresh herbs. Nestled amid the dark varnished woods and rustic brick, guests sip glasses of Tuscan wine, share laughs, and keep eyes out for celebrity fingerpainters.
It would be impossible for just one chef to handle the entirety of Siena's massive menu of Italian eats. That's why executive chef Nick Jankowski works in close collaboration with his sous chef, Jill Sanger, to create the restaurant's hearty Old World flavors. Those run the gamut from handmade eggplant parmesan to italian meatloaf stuffed with provolone, spinach, and roasted red pepper. Before 16-inch pizzas go into the brick oven, they get topped with ingredients such as homemade meatballs, toasted garlic, and candied walnuts.
To accommodate all types of diners, Nick also alters many of his dishes for gluten-free and vegan patrons. Selections from a handpicked wine list can complement any meal, as can an extensive selection of classic and original cocktails. After meals, guests can settle their stomachs with specialty coffees, dessert martinis, or an 18-year Macallan single-malt scotch, the last chance for patrons to drink it before it goes off to college and stops calling.
The kitchen may look a bit different than when it opened in 1973, but the family in charge and the recipes are still the same. Though there are three generations now, chefs still hand make their sauces and pizza dough daily, ensuring that each ingredient still has the space to shine brightly when brought to life by the heat of the oven. Italian pastas steam in large pots nearby, and hot and cold sandwiches brim with veal, steak, salami, and meatballs like a screenplay written by somebody who forgot to eat lunch. This dedication to providing good eats recently earned Al's Restaurant a designation as the "2012 Business of the Year" from the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce.
Since its founding in 2001, The Upper Crust Pizzeria has fashioned artful thin-crust pizzas in 19 storefronts with modern, architectural touches. Chefs craft specialty pies inspired by local landmarks, from the sundried-tomato cobblestones of the Beacon Hill to the pesto-painted walls of the Green Monster. Diners can opt to spread sweet sauce over a regular or whole-wheat crust or request that any pie be served white without sauce, and combine slices with crisp salads or pounce on the geometric goodness of a spinach square or half moon-shaped calzone. Restaurant interiors are accoutered with modern flourishes such as flat-screen TVs and pan-decorated ceilings, allowing one to lie down and admire their reflection before a postmeal nap.