Matteo Giordano came to New York from Sicily by boat on December 22, 1915. Though cargo was light, he managed to bring his tabby’s cat condo and his prized book of recipes that had been passed down through generations. He eventually opened his own bakery and used his family’s tomato-pie recipe to delight the taste buds of Mayor Fiorello La Guardia at the world’s fair.
Using the light, flaky pastry and rich tomato sauce of Matteo’s tomato pie, The Original Big Tomato owners Richard and Phyllis continue the tradition of classic Italian pizza. Their gourmet tomato pies incorporate unique ingredients such as zucchini, tuna, avocado, and gouda cheese. The sweet Jamaican jerk pizza combines chicken, scallions, carrots, and cilantro onto a circular pie, whereas the fiesta frijoles celebrate south-of-the-border tastes with ground turkey, black beans, and jalapeños. The Original Big Tomato also serves wrap sandwiches and boule salads—fresh greens and vegetables in French boule bread—and also performs catering.
Village Café plates up a menu of salads, sandwiches, and inspired entrees in a European bistro setting. The crispy goat cheese appetizer ($9.95) waves a casual "Ciao" atop crostini, while the Village Cobb salad ($10.95) scoots by on a Dijon vinaigrette-fueled Vespa. Fungiphiles fancy the portabella panini ($8.95), with its grilled, marinated mushrooms and melted mozzarella, and the meat lover's pizza (small $10.95) satisfies any yearning passion for protein. Dinner diners choose from mains such as the mint and pistachio-crusted lamb (8 oz $17.95) accompanied by roasted garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus spears, or linguine with garlic, white wine, and fresh clams ($16.95).
Doral Pizza’s team serves pies sized from 10 to 16 inches. Staffers bake pizzas topped with everything from gorgonzola alfredo to classic pepperoni, which is to pizza what butter is to toast and index-finger gesticulation are to being a politician. Their pasta roster catalogs such enticing entrees as pesto linguine and four-cheese penne.
Red Zone Sports Bar and Grill envelops sports fans in a laid-back atmosphere while servers whisk classic pub fare such as pork sandwiches and flatbread pizzas to tables teeming with pints of Sam Adams, bottles of Guinness, and a cascade of buzz-worthy cocktails. Guests can bask in the glow of flat-screen TVs indoors as their favorite teams duke it out, or venture to the outdoor patio for breeze-kissed dining. Specials such as happy hour and all-you-can-eat wings stretch themselves across the weekly calendar, while college night on Thursdays encourages scholars to debate the merits of sandwiches versus wraps through dissertations written on bar napkins.
Since 1969, the cooks at Mario the Baker have followed the same tried-and-true recipes, resulting in pizza after fresh-baked pizza emerging from the oven with the same flavors as the restaurant's very first batch. Diners settle into red and black booths to split signature pizzas, including La Maflosa pizza with sliced eggplant and mozzarella. As part of an unrefusable offer, the Godfather pie comes topped with capicollo, ham, and salami and is served with a side of housemade italian dressing.