Distinguishing itself from the proliferation of fly-by-night pizzerias that pop up every other day, Villa Rose has firmly established itself as one of the area's oldest and most beloved, serving their signature thin-crust pies since 1957. Customers can build their own pizzas with toppings that range from jalapenos to meatballs, or order a specialty pie, such as the Pomodoro with fresh tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and mozzarella. Over the years, Villa Rose has built off a foundation of their classic pies, adding a slew of Italian mainstays to the menu: there's sandwiches teetering with piles of Italian cold cuts, Philly steak, or sausage and peppers, as well as 10 pasta dinners—one for each finger's unique appetite. The entree selection includes Italian classics such as veal parmigiana and calamari arrabiata entangled in linguini.
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).
For John Capone, pizza is more than just food—it’s a family thing. That’s why he pulls from the vault of Capone family recipes to craft their distinctive sauce and dough. For build-your-own pies, John spreads homemade marinara sauce and add up to six toppings, such as banana peppers, artichokes, or Italian sausage, atop hand-tossed, whole grain, or deep-dish crusts. Those same ingredients also flavor Capone’s specialty pies, along with extra-fancy options such as eggplant and housemade ranch sauce. Beyond pizza, John fills their menu with a combination of Italian and pizzeria staples. They dot the Italian end of the spectrum with numerous handmade delicacies, including chicken parmesan and tiramisu. Pizzeria eats range from Chicago-style hot dogs crowned with homemade chili to slow-roasted chicken wings tossed with a choice of more than 10 sauces, including roasted garlic parmesan.
Those interested in going out for a night on the town can take a load off in the casual dining room, which boasts flat-screen televisions beaming with the latest sports games. Customers can also have their pies delivered to their home.
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.