Eddie's Pizzeria Cerino serves fresh Italian dishes crafted with the fusion of family recipes and modern culinary experience. Owner Eddie Cerino's passion for food began in his grandmother's kitchen, where he would watch her prepare meals for friends and family. He took in the aromas and witnessed how, like receiving a paycheck delivered by puppies, her dishes would brighten guests' spirits. When forging his pizzeria's menu, Eddie combined his family's cherished recipes with techniques and flavors he discovered over the course of his career. Today, guests indulge their cravings with entrees prepared under the direction of a Cerino family member, such as gourmet pizzas topped with wild mushrooms and sausage and butternut-squash ravioli in a butter-sage sauce.
Verso has expanded the traditional range of Italian fare to include Verso chips ($7), a deliciously seasoned stack of house-made potato chips heaped with provolone cheese, chunks of bacon, and green onion. Basic pizzas range from $6 to $16 to start, depending on size and shape (circle or sheet—sheets require 12 to 24 hours of advance notice to ensure their 800-thread-count goodness). Try a specialty option, such as a Caribbean ($18 for a large), topped with honey-lime oil, provolone, jerk chicken, mangos, caramelized onions, and cilantro. Sandwiches are available for easy gripping—bite into a chicken Philly ($7) with roasted chicken, sautéed peppers, mushrooms, onions, and cheese served on a hoagie. Pasta ranges from $9 to $11, with meaty additions running an extra $2 to $3, and comes in every imaginable shape and length, including whole-wheat penne. Wash it all down with a variety of $2 beverages, or imbibe from the beer and wine lists ($4 to $16).
Gionino's Pizzeria serves up Italian and American eats ranging from pizza and pasta to fried chicken and wings. Specialty pizzas include the mediterranean, topped with spinach, feta, and roasted red peppers, and Gionino's Best, a signature pie with nine toppings, including four meats and veggies such as black olives, banana peppers, and mushrooms. Fried chicken is prepared in peanut oil, and unbreaded chicken wings are slathered in a choice of seven sauces, including hot, honey mustard, or spicy garlic.
Jim Cucuzza serves as both co-owner and chef at Bongiorno's Family Ristorante & Pizzeria, where he crafts traditional Southern Italian food in a casual, family friendly environment. Just because the dining room and heated outdoor patio welcome casually-dress patrons, though, doesn't mean the food isn't gourmet. In fact, one of the compliments Chef Cucuzza regularly receives is the suggestion that he should be baking dishes like his chicken and sausage arrabiatta in some swank New York hot spot. Occasionally, diners will quietly confess that his homemade gravy trumps even their grandma's recipe.
For guests who don't know where to start, Chef Cucuzza recommends checking out a few of the menu's hidden gems. His suggestions included the halibut romano—encrusted with a cheese and bread crumb coating soaked in lemon butter sauce—or the calamari steak appetizer, a hearty slice of squid sauteed in with homemade tomato sauce. Though Jim's favorites are seafood-focused, he promises that the menus "[have] something for everyone. Everything I cook is to order, [using] fresh ingredients."
And by everyone, he even means pint-sized diners. The chef puts together a children's menu featuring kid-friendly Italian favorites. Meanwhile, adults can enjoy a happy hour every Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., accompanied on Fridays by live music on the patio during warmer months.
Cuisine Type: Italain
Reservations: Not necessary
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11–25
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: veal
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery / Take-out: Parking garage
Outdoor Seating: Yes
The glowing embers inside Bucci's signature brick oven do more than just heat up food. They infuse dishes with a signature flavor and rustic warmth that can only be found in authentic Italian cuisine. Homemade accents can be found throughout Bucci's Brick Oven's menu, from the meatballs balanced atop plates of spaghetti to the cavatelli featured on Food Network's Best Thing I Ever Ate. Guests slice through the chicken prosciutto's layers of italian ham, tomatoes, and lightly breaded chicken, or warm themselves with the legendary parmesan entrees packed with veal, chicken, or eggplant and a bubbling layer of provolone cheese.
Alfonso's Restaurante's kitchen crafts special-recipe red sauce for many of its classic Italian dishes. In the sicilian casserole, it boosts the flavor of tri-colored peppers, meatballs, and sausage, and it sweetens the layers of ricotta and meatballs in the baked lasagna, much better than a paste made from red Pixy Stix. Among a generous menu of pasta, veal, and seafood entrees, other house favorites include breaded and pan-seared walleye and long bone pork chops in a tomato pozzuoli sauce.