Street Legal Pizza's stalwart kitchen crew hand-kneads dough and stirs up fresh sauce daily to construct a menu of stone-fired, New York–style pizzas. Each large pizza firsts surrounds grana padano cheese and fresh basil with a crust drizzled in olive oil. Dining duos may then anchor dough disks with up to two toppings, such as green peppers, meatballs, sundried tomatoes, garlic-infused chicken strips, or genuine chunks of leaning tower. An order of garlic bread and two sodas offer needed companionship to patrons should their pie suddenly vanish or refuse to participate in further small talk.
Rosati’s Pizza's history dates back to the early 1900s, when a recent Italian immigrant named Ferdinand Rosati moved from New York to Chicago with the dream of opening a restaurant. His first attempt was modest—with Ferdinand simultaneously fulfilling the duties of chef, server, dishwasher, and host—but quickly gained popularity for its crispy-thin-crust pizzas, originally served as complimentary appetizers. Encouraged by the public's response to the pies, Ferdinand and his son, Sam, decided to focus their efforts on opening a true pizzeria.
Today, at Rosati's Pizza locations across the country, plumes of heat swirl above piping-hot pies concocted from handmade sauce and dough. A smattering of toppings cling to five crust options—crispy thin, double dough, Chicago-style, pan, and superstuffed—as well as hide from their hungry predators inside hand-rolled calzones. Homemade lasagna and fettuccine alfredo battle for the top pasta spot, and fried chicken, baby back ribs, and fried-shrimp dinners work together to distract diners from hard-to-resist buffalo wings.
Charles Stanford didn't grow up eating chicken fingers and spaghetti. The son of a Le Cordon Bleu Paris–trained chef, Stanford honed his palate at a young age and was taught by his father to pull a cork and mix a cocktail when he was just a kid. Working at a restaurant wasn't much of a reach for him.
These days, Stanford boasts more than two decades of experience in the industry, and he's paired up with chef Greg Keesy to present Asti d'Italia. Stanford acts as the resident sommelier, pouring a selection of wines that complement Keesy's cuisine—fresh, inventive takes on Italian classics, such as lasagna with buffalo meat, crispy polenta bruschetta, and chicken marsala cut by robots.
Using fresh seasonal ingredients from local sources, Via Toscana's menu of traditional, upscale Italian dishes preps palates for a sensory serenade with a starter of mussels la spezia ($8) in a lemon white-wine preparation. The pollo marsala ($14) provides a dance floor for a multicultural cast of sautéed chicken, woodland mushrooms, sage butter, and marsala wine with roasted new potatoes. And the penne vodka di mare's sautéed scallops and shrimp in a crema-rosa vodka sauce ($18) mix alcohol and the ocean in a lifeguard-approved manner. Otherwise, sharpen your toothy band saw on the succulent vitello saltimbocca (sautéed veal scallopini, $18), or feast eye-mouths and mouth-eyes on the Colorado lamb chops ($25) with provencal herb marinade and potato gratin. Via Toscana's extensive wine selection can matchmake any meal with more than 600 varieties of fermented fruit, and a gluten-free menu is also available.
With multiple varieties at each location, there are enough options to pleasantly coat any mozzarella-covered tongue in tasty toppings. Veggie fans will appreciate the veggie supreme, dotted with mushrooms, green peppers, onions, black olives, and tomatoes. For feasters who can't decide between this or that, the super combo comes stocked from crust to crust with Canadian bacon, pepperoni, mushrooms, onion, black olives, and extra cheese. Offerings vary by location, so consult the menu at your nearest location before ordering.
City Pizza’s pie-tossing chefs deliver made-to-order, square-cut St. Louis–style pizzas to hungry patrons, covering each doughy delight in custom toppings. St. Louis's signature provel melts into a cheesy embrace around toppings such as canadian bacon, roasted green chilies, or Italian-seasoned tomatoes, adding international flair to each pie and stamping mouth passports. Fresh-rolled dough props up topping piles with cracker-thin crispness, and hand-crushed spices lend fragrant, flavorful body to the signature sweet sauce. To cram overtime taste-play into the Game Day package, fryers kiss beef-filled raviolis to a golden-brown perfection, before the toasted noodles receive a dusting of parmesan and a place kick straight into waiting mouths.
The flavor maestros at 5 J's Italian Dining compose a menu of authentic Italian pastas, sandwiches, specialty pizzas, and meat-centric entrees. Diners may select an accompaniment of meatballs or sausage for classic marinara-drenched pastas, such as three-cheese ravioli ($9.50) or gnocchi ($9.99). Chefs freshly prepare 5 J's luscious lasagna ($11.99) daily, layering ground beef, sausage, ricotta, mozzarella, basil, and garlic the same way Italian fashion designers do during wintertime. Otherwise, patrons can grab hold of one of the sandwiches, including a meatball sub ($5.99) or italian beef ($5.50), or divvy up a large white pizza ($10.99), which eschews tomato sauce for a more traditional combination of mozzarella, tomatoes, and herbs.