Fresh dough bubbles up around house-made mozzarella, sauces cooked daily, and recently reaped toppings at The Pizza Kitchen. The menu's savory starters parade bacon-wrapped scallops and potato skins cradling buffalo chicken and blue cheese, ideal for snacking on game day or luring a mascot out from under the bed. Stone-lined ovens, inspired by the co-owner's personal outdoor kitchen, exhale fiery currents across pizzas outfitted with meatballs, bacon, green peppers, mushrooms or a host of other toppings. Diners carry out dough disks and two liters of soda for at-home feasts or picnics uninterrupted by cutlery salesmen.
A BYOB eatery, Ristorante Marcello's Pizzeria serves a menu that merges Italian staples such as linguine and clams with innovative dishes like crab mac 'n' cheese or buffalo-eggplant bites. The kitchen team adds an element of surprise to its specialty pizzas with pies such as the cheese steak and fried onion or the Spiral pizza—which was what NFL quarterback Johnny Unitas would toss to his hungry receivers.
Tomato sauce basks in lochs of extra-virgin olive oil atop the tomato pie, a thin-crust creation that Pomodoro’s channels from the osterias of Italy. Sicilian-style and mozzarella-spotted margharita pies round out the menu’s pizza selection alongside a variety of Italian cuisine, from gourmet pastas and handheld paninis to desserts such as homemade profiteroles. Crimson walls reflect off Formica tabletops within the cozy dining room, where an exhibition kitchen enables diners to view the chefs’ culinary prowess or to engage them in games of peekaboo.
It may be New Jersey, but the pizza style is decidedly New York. Either in family or personal sizes, the pies on Original People's Pizza & Family Restaurant's menu pack toppings of ricotta cheese, fried onions, or fresh basil and can be stuffed or served in either classic New York or Sicilian slices. Fifteen years have helped the chefs add Big Apple flavor to its Italian classics in a variety of forms. There are entrees of chicken giardino, a chicken breast sauteed with mushrooms and sundried tomatoes, or scallops served with spinach and peas in a white wine sauce. Then there are the pasta dishes, which use fresh noodles to soak up garlic sauce and corral littleneck clams just the way swimming pool noodles soak up pool water and littleneck clams.
Helmed by Vinny and Antonio Mannino, Mannino’s Family Restaurant offers diners the simple pleasures of Italian cuisine prepared by experienced chefs. Pizza-making pros toss doughy discs to craft more than 25 Sicilian and gourmet pies, topped with the likes of steak, mozzarella, and fresh basil. Veal nine ways includes classic preparations of piccata and marsala, stuffed pastas are filled with manicotti and meat confetti, and a kids’ menu is home to swirl-able plates piled with spaghetti and meatballs