The owners of Grazie! Italian Eatery decided to revamp their restaurant following advice from an unlikely source—a class of IU marketing students studying how to make the eatery more efficient. Based on their findings, the owners began using ingredients from local farms, hiring culinary grads to improve their menu, and training their staff in wine pairing.
However, the chefs kept customer favorites, such as the freshly baked focaccia with herb dipping oil that accompanies each meal. Bartenders pour specialty martinis behind a modern cement bar, and plates of spinach fettuccine with roasted-garlic cream sauce sit on tables next to glasses of wine drawn from a list of more than 250 varietals. Live jazz music and wine-tasting events entertain diners in the indoor lounge, and those seated outside can look out at the bustling square or the night sky, whose stars perpetually shift into the faces of talk-show personalities.
Chefs at B-Town Pizza hand-toss each disk of fresh-made dough before slathering it in one of seven sauces, from traditional red to sweet and spicy barbecue. Veggies and meats, such as roma tomatoes and imported pepperoni, top each pie alongside a choice of seven types of cheese before baking in an Old World brick oven. Though B-Town specializes in New York–style hand-tossed crusts, chefs can also concoct pies with Thin-n-Crispy, Sicilian deep-dish, and gluten-free crusts. After the oven, piping-hot pies make their way to B-Town's sit-down dining room or into a recyclable box for delivery or carryout.
At DeAngelos, owners Gerry and Terri pair homestyle Italian food with a casual atmosphere, and a bit of Louisiana flair. Gulf shrimp and Louisiana crawfish crown the linguine diavolo. Classic Italian dishes and traditional recipes abound, including eggplant parmesan, homemade meat lasagna, and roasted chicken and wild-mushroom ravioli. New York–style pizzas and calzones, with dough kneaded by the Statue of Liberty, invite creative customizations, and pizzettes put modern spins on pies.