"Make yourself at home." This is the mantra of Luciano, where the owners want their customers to feel like family. When the Centofanti family immigrated to America from Italy in 1971, they brought their steadfast work ethic, passion for excellence, and the authentic recipes of the family matriarch, Nonna Lina.
Inside the kitchen at Luciano, cooks perfect these recipes, toasting thin, mozzarella-strewn neapolitan pizzas in Luciano's wood-fired ovens. They also prepare from-scratch pasta, such as the house specialty Lasagna Famosa with ground beef and rich béchamel sauce.
Dotting the Texan landscape with pizzerias like so many pepperonis in a hopeful meat-lover's garden, Goomba's ‘za joints bake up New York–style pies with ingredients from Costanzo's Bakery and Sorrento cheese. Dough made daily from scratch lays the groundwork for such classic toppings as italian sausage, mushrooms, artichokes, sweet or hot peppers, and anchovies. Pasta specialties such as cheese manicotti and baked ziti swim—like an eccentric millionaire—in a house-made tomato sauce infused with fresh basil and extra-virgin olive oil, and a selection of calzones, salads, hot subs lends rest to the pizza weary. Daily lunch specials quell midday tummy rumbles from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and most locations offer both dine-in and carry-out fare.
Dough doyens at Capricciosas Gourmet Pizza adorn thin, crispy crusts with goat cheese, prosciutto, and other adventurous toppings praised by the San Antonio Express-News. Smoked oysters and spinach punctuate the Smokey, and, like a chef in a witness-protection program, the Milan pie conceals a savory pesto sauce. Though requesting a pizza that resembles William Howard Taft is inadvisable, patrons can customize their dough discuses with dozens of different toppings, including chorizo and fresh mozzarella. Slices share belly space with salads such as the Siena, which tickles prosciutto, artichokes, and goat cheese with crisp sprays of leafy greens.
In a small town outside of Naples, Italy, Nonna Lina lured passersby into her trattoria with the aroma of fresh tomato sauce and wood-oven-baked pizzas. Stateside, her sons uphold their mother’s culinary legacy, preparing her recipes from scratch with imported Italian ingredients. In addition to the authentic cuisine, the dining room itself hearkens back to an Italian eatery: guests order from chalkboard menus propped atop wooden barrels, and red-and-white-checkered tablecloths invite diners to play endless games of chess with condiments.
Amid GameTown Pizza's mélange of arcade consoles and analog challenges, chefs sculpt dough for New York–style pizzas and ensconce zesty ingredients within calzones and strombolis before baking them golden on sizzling pizza stones. The bustling game room challenges competitors to bouts of air hockey, basketball, and invigorating redemption games, whose ribbons of tickets garner well-earned trips to the prize counter. Party planners can host savory shindigs within the arcade's private party room, whose whimsical yellow walls display flat-screen TVs ideal for celebratory slideshows and virtual-reality birthday cakes alike.