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.
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.
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.
Named best area pizza source by Yellow Scene Magazine, Zamparelli's Italian Bistro crafts innovatively assembled pastas and East Coast–inflected thin-crust pizzas acclaimed by Every Day with Rachel Ray magazine. Watch the kitchen for rising steam signals that mean either your pepperoni pizza ($12) is emerging from the brick oven or that rival tribes of eaters are attacking the gastro-garrison. Sharp-eyed servers guide patrons through the monolithic menu, which uses rich Italian sauce in inventive configurations that better irrigate your fields of taste buds. Sink your teeth into succulent pappardelle Bolognese ($14), or sink your spoon into a bowl of seasonal soup ($4.75). Cold sandwiches, such as a turkey club featuring Nueske’s bacon ($7.75), and hot handhelds such as an eggplant parmesan sandwich ($7.75) give silverware a respite from its dinerly duties. Unlike 18-and-older pizzerias and seniors-only jungle gyms, Zamparelli's welcomes tiny people with a quartet of $5 children's dishes that bring sprightly smiles to miniature mouths.
Flavorsome ingredients and fresh, handmade dough marry in gourmet specialty pizzas such as Mr. C's Meat Lover's Stuffed Pizza Pie (pepperoni, salami, sausage, meatballs, beef, ham, and five cheeses, $18.49 for a 12-inch pie), the hot and spicy barbecue chicken ($12.49 for a 12-inch), and the vegetarian Pizza Bianca (Alfredo sauce, mozzarella, parmesan, romano, fresh basil, black pepper, and black olives, $11.49 for a 12-inch). Indulge in a plate of impeccably prepared pasta such as baked ziti ($10.99), or use this Groupon toward a family-sized portion of meat tortellini ($32.99 for four servings). Italian entree specialties include fettuccini Alfredo with shrimp ($9.99), spaghetti with clams tossed in either a light garlic-butter sauce or classic marinara ($10.99), and eggplant parmesan served with a side of spaghetti, garlic bread, and salad ($9.49). Subs, spicy wings, salads, and desserts round out the menu into a nicely round circle tastier than a traffic circle or rutabaga crop circle.
At Udi's, you'll find more than a dozen wood-fired pizzas, plus a wide variety of appetizers, salads, and desserts. Start with the hummus plate ($6), served with vegetables and house pizzetta, or wood-fired olives with balsamic ($4). Udi's offers an extensive offering of specialty pizzas. Try the mushroom with mozzarella, taleggio, Parmesan, and truffle oil ($14), or the soprasetta ($15) with dry-cured fennel salami, whole-milk mozzarella, and parsley.