There's something unmistakably Italian about Toscana Grill. Maybe it's the white marble and ebony wood accents in the dining room, or maybe it's the hospitality with which the servers greet each guest. In all likelihood, it's probably both of these things?plus a menu of northern Italian dishes crafted with local produce and herbs.
All of the traditional favorites are here, including eggplant parmigiana, spinach ravioli alfredo, and chicken marsala with mushrooms. But it's not all classics. There are also plenty of genre-bending pizzas, such as one topped with shrimp, white-wine sauce, butter, and garlic. A bottle of wine from the bar makes a perfect companion to any meal, especially if you dress it up like a person and pretend that it can talk.
A friendly staff serves up generously sized portions at this family-friendly Italian eatery. Children dine on kids'-menu selections as adults choose from a menu of classic pizzas, seafood, and pastas. Chefs' Southern Italian cooking can be enjoyed beneath the stucco archways of the casual dining area or amid well-kept shrubbery on the patio.
Continuing the Italian tradition of pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice), Pizzeria Venti offers a handful of oven-baked pies teeming with trans-fat-free toppings (except for naturally occurring trans fats in dairy). Like a self-rising theater, Pizzeria Venti's homespun crust acts as a stage for more than 20 pizza performances, such as italian sausage, seasoned with fennel, fresh basil, and herbs ($3.25/slice) or chicken vesuvio, which erupts with roasted breast of chicken, mushrooms, black olives, and garlic ($4/slice). Though pizza prevails as the main attraction, the menu also marches through baked pastas ($7.50+), salads ($6.50+), and seasonal soups ($4.25) to create a culinary lineup that is more well-rounded than a reconstructed Humpty Dumpty.
Owner Franco Abbruzzetti himself selects all the produce, meat, and fish used by the chefs at his Trattoria Da Franco. That's how invested he is in the quality of the meals shared under his roof. Open since 1985 and occupying a 300-year-old European-style rowhouse, the eatery offers up many traditional Italian dishes that are just as charming as the building they're served in. Steak and seafood entrees are prominent on the menu here, as are housemade pastas and pizzas. The saltimbocca alla romana showcases veal saut?ed in marsala wine and the homemade minestrone alla romana soup comes chock full of tender veggies. Waiters also pour wines from Italy, France, and North America and pastry chefs bake up decadent desserts and custom cakes for special occasions and any time someone has eaten their way through the entire menu.
From Mexico to Dubai, all Flippin Pizza locations share at least one thing: every 18-inch pie starts as a carefully kneaded ball of dough that cooks hand-toss until it forms a perfectly thin, airy disc. Several specialty pizzas take their names from New York City boroughs to symbolize their traditional thin-crust approach, and they arrive topped with everything from meatballs and fresh garlic to buffalo chicken. Pesto or blue-cheese dressing replace red sauce on a selection of white pies, and hearty calzones and salads are, like a pi?ata at a nutritionist's birthday party, stuffed with colorful veggies.
Faccia Luna Pizzeria is the kind of a place where you're just as likely to spot cozy couples splitting pasta dishes à la Lady and the Tramp as groups of friends clicking wine glasses over shared pizzas. The pies at this trio of urban trattorias bake in wood- or gas-fired ovens manned by chefs who have earned their whites at the Culinary Institute of America. Across three locations in Virginia and Pennsylvania, the kitchen crew also prepares casual Italian eats such as salads and grinder sandwiches served in an upscale bistro atmosphere.