Piesmiths at Apollo Pizza partner an array of sides and salads with made-to-order pizzas slathered with sauce, covered in cheese, and polka-dotted with a potpourri of toppings. Descend fork first in to a chicken-caesar or greek salad before eschewing silverware to grab sides—such as onion rings, jalapeño poppers, or bacon-and-cheese-topped mega fries—with hands or telepathic mind powers. A serving of 10 buffalo wings smothered in sauce round out pre-main-course noshings before a fully customizable pie arrives at tables laden with four toppings plucked from a cache of more than 15 accouterments, including roasted peppers, ricotta cheese, and sausage. Throughout the meal, diners can split 2 liters of Coca-Cola, sipping it from individual glasses or, in accordance with Italian tradition, chugging it straight from the bottle while dancing the tarantella.
In some families, all the children are blessed with a knack for sports. In others, the offspring may be born with an aptitude for math or the ability to reason with sharks. In the Testa family, however, the seven brothers and five sisters all ended up with a passion for great Italian food. Bruno’s Pizza Villa is one of six Italian eateries run by the Testa children, each one serving authentic pizzas and Italian specialties. Bruno Testa takes the reins at this family-friendly eatery, overseeing kitchen chefs as they whip up Neapolitan-style pies.
The pizza-makers toss freshly made dough with gourmet toppings, such as buffalo mozzarella, barbeque chicken, and sundried tomatoes. Once pizzas begin baking in the ovens, the cooks turn their attention to cheesy calzones, crispy sandwiches, and traditional pasta dishes. They extend their culinary expertise towards a variety of seafood specialties, including creamy lobster ravioli and spicy seafood fra diavlo. Meanwhile, their customers recline on cushy booths in the bright dining room, lingering over last bites of handmade cannoli and sugary zeppolli.
Question the regulars at Keystone Pizza on their favorite pie, and you’re not likely to reach a consensus. Some will praise the margherita pizza, citing the juiciness of the crushed plum tomatoes and the bite of fresh garlic. Others will laud the tender gyro meat on the Greek Zorba pizza, or extol the gooey mozzarella and ricotta cheeses that blanket the signature white pie. Still others will interrupt pizza discussions to defend the virtues of the restaurant’s plump calzones, crispy Italian-style sandwiches, or shy but handsome delivery boy. And there are always a few wing aficionados who insist that the true stars of the menu are the buffalo wings—juicy morsels of chicken slathered in hot, mild, and barbecue sauces.
Flush with the success of their first restaurant, The Couch Tomato Cafe, business partners and college buddies Craig Mosmen and Michael Cassano have expanded their plant-themed empire with The Tomato Bistro. Situated in the Manayunk district among an array of boutiques, salons, and nightclubs, the comfortable yet formal dining space surrounds diners with loft seating, cut-stone walls, hardwood floors, and modern lighting fixtures.
The Bistro’s dinner menu is filled with thin-crust, New York style gourmet pizza creations topped in San Marzano sauces and Grande mozzarella cheese. Produce is ordered and prepared daily and used to cover pizzas, fill salads served with homemade dressings and rolls, and add splashes of color to otherwise lackluster chef uniforms. Gourmet small plates encourage sharing, while an intentionally limited menu of specialty pizzas, salads, wraps, paninis, and homemade soups allows The Tomato Bistro’s cooks to maintain a high level of quality.
The calzone constructivists at D.P. Dough comfort stomachs 'til the wee hours of the morning every night, using made-to-order dough stuffed with a multitude of tasty ingredients. Topping a menu of more than 40 'zones ($6.85 each), and carefully chaperoned by sides of marinara sauce, are a bevy of breaded-bird beauties like the Chicken Parma-Zone and the bleu-cheese-bedecked Buffer Zone. Gift a generous green thumb with veggie variables like the Time Zone, which is a garden of peppers, mushrooms, onions, and cheeses. Outside the doughy dimension, the baked D.P. Dough Wings let taste buds takeoff with six ($4.50) to 24 ($16.05) wings sheathed in hot sauce, barbecue, or ranch seasoning.