Ristorante Amalfi has been serving up traditional Italian cuisine for more than 20 years, and proffers an expansive menu that ranges from pasta and veal to chicken and seafood. Open up cuisine ports for delicious docking vessels of appetizers, such as eggplant rolled with ricotta and mozzarella before raising a stomach mast to accommodate a hearty entree ($7.95). Like the three musketeers, the linguine, shrimp, and broccoli form a dynamic trio and ride horseback through forests of teeth ($19.25). Also escorting a fleet of flavor to the taste buds is the veal marsala, assembled with flotillas of fresh mushrooms and scallions in a dry marsala wine sauce ($23.95). Seafood devotees can welcome the zuppa di pesce, a bonanza of clams, mussels, shrimp, baccalà, and calamari steamed in a scrumptious marinara and delivered to the table on a bed of linguini ($26.95).
Pizzeria Antica serves up a menu of made-to-order pizzas, each prepared with fresh ingredients and premium italian cheeses. Muffle the moans of rapacious stomach-sirens with an order of bruschetta crowned with tomato, basil, and a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil ($4.75), before diving into the restaurant's array of specialty thin-crust pizzas ($12.95–$19.95). The Barese pizza adorns chop canvases with the colorful flavors of prosciutto di parma and panna, along with fresh ground pepper, shaved parmesan, and arugula, while Nemos of nourishment can submerge themselves in the Antico pizza, a spherical serving of tuna and capers frolicking in a cheesy pasture of mushrooms and onions. Build-your-own-pizza options are also available ($8.95–$14.95; $1–$2.50 per topping), as well as starch-surrounded fare such as the meatball sandwich or the italian beef sandwich ($4.95 for small, $6.45 for large).
If by some dark miracle the Italian comfort food doesn’t make diners feel at home at Tony Spavone’s Ristorante, a quick song does. The owner spends the evenings personally serenading tables, encouraging guests to sing along to a familiar tune, and organizing conga lines throughout the dining room. In between ballads, servers emerge with plate after plate of Italian staples, loading tables with servings of housemade pasta, freshly baked garlic rolls, and choice sautéed cuts of free-range Koopa Troopas.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.