Whether you're a vino virgin or wine aficionado, one of Vintage's 100 wines is sure to tickle your tongue and glamorize your gullet. Sixty-five grapen goodnesses are available by the glass, including the Sicilian Arnacio Nero D'Avola ($5) and the South African Jam Jar 2009 Sweet Shiraz ($6). Taste three wines at once during a flight such as the Chardonnay flight, which includes wines from Sonoma, South Africa, and the Central Coast of California ($12). To complement the grape blood, there’s small plates ($4 and up) such as pan seared goat cheese cakes with pear jam and entrees ($14 and up) like the herb gnocchi with butternut squash and sage brown butter. Or, combine one of more than 25 beer selections with pizza ($9 and up) made on Vintage's house-made dough.
As a transplant from New York, the owner of Noce's Pizzeria spent years learning what makes noteworthy pizza crusts before sharing his findings by emulating these pizzas for the masses inside his own pizzeria. Freshly made dough crusts, cooked on a heated stone, hold classic toppings as well as jalapeno peppers, chicken, olives, meatballs, feta cheese, and ladles of creamy ranch dressing and wing sauce. And chefs don?t cut any corners with the rest of the menu either. Sauces made from scratch pour over housemade pasta noodles, eggplant parmesan, and chicken cacciatore. Additionally, beer-battered cod and tartar sauce tuck into sandwiches and plenty of cheese fills calzone pockets or the jean pockets of many a Wisconsinite.
Homemade meatballs, ham smothered in sweet-barbecue sauce, and melted cheeses cover pizza crusts and fill the space inside hoagie rolls at Fatty Patty’s Pizza, named one of Cincinnati's 50 Best Pizza Places of 2012 by Cincinnati Magazine. Diners can build their own pies from the ground up or place their trust in Fatty Patty's capable hands by ordering pizzas off the menu, such as the pizza bianca topped with fresh garlic, ricotta cheese, and tomatoes or the buffalo-chicken pizza with hot sauce, jalapeños, and grilled chicken. The kitchen stays open until 3 a.m. on weekends, and a staff of delivery drivers is on hand for whenever people get a craving for steak or chicken hoagies at home or while stuck in line at the DMV.
Each day, from the lunch hour until 10 p.m., the chefs at Zazou Grill & Pub keep the ovens hot. Preparing a menu of pub-style food, they plate up pairs of soft, warm pretzel pillows with a zesty queso blanco sauce for dipping?or dress half-pound cheeseburgers with bacon and a fried egg and serve them alongside tater tots, sweet potato fries, and other sides. The bar is also home to a handful of games, such as bar bowling and Golden Tee, and frequently hosts karaoke night, during which visitors can belt out their best renditions of "Ave Maria."
The first thing you want to do with a hot pizza is dig in, but if you're so inclined, go ahead and count the pepperoni first. Donatos promises that every pepperoni pizza, sized large or larger, will have at least 100 slices of lean pepperoni spread across the pie. That's just one of the many flourishes that Donatos, founded in 1963, has used to distinguish itself from the rest. There's also its Edge to Edge promise: a guarantee that every pie will be loaded from one end to the other with toppings, from said pepperoni slices to family-recipe sausage to fresh, hand-cut veggies. Donatos' formula seems to have worked, as the once small Italian eatery now spans the nation with more than 150 locations.
Beyond its classic pizzas, Donatos offers many specialty pies, including its chicken spinach mozzarella and Mariachi beef. Each is framed with naturally smoked, aged provolone cheese on top and cornmeal-encrusted dough, from a 50-year old recipe, below. Donatos even offers gluten-free pizzas on its signature Udi's crust. For those searching out other Italian fare, the menu features robust stromboli stuffed with meats and cheeses, and hearty subs. And for dessert, Donatos creates its warm cinnamon brick-street bread, an oven-baked loaf of artisan pull-apart bread with cinnamon spread, streusel, and vanilla icing.
Back in the 1950s, the founder of Angilo?s Pizza, Al Jones, used the skills he cultivated while working in a bakery to create his very own recipe for pizza crust and hoagie buns. Today, whether in Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, each and every family owned and operated Angilo?s location carries on Al's legacy by using those very same recipes with reasonable prices. The chefs sustaining that tradition hand toss the dough for their large- and medium-sized pizzas before layering them with a bevy of fresh cheese and toppings and Al?s homemade secret sauce?for which CIA agents don't even have clearance. They use fresh-baked hoagie rolls to stuff turkey, ham, beef, and cheese on their special double-decker sandwiches, of which there are 15. Because each Angilo?s Pizza location is individually owned, proprietors might also add in a few of their own specialties to the menu, such as Cincinnati-style chili or buffalo-chicken sandwiches.