Erma “Mama” D’Avolio arrived at Ellis Island in 1935 from Collarmele, Italy, with an armful of children and a headful of recipes that soon gained her notoriety throughout Little Italy. Though an excellent cook who honed her skills over decades in the family restaurant, Erma swore that her delicious dishes had but one secret: the highest quality olive oil she could find. Inspired by her example, her grandson Danny Gagliardo opened D’Avolio Olive Oils & Vinegars to honor her and offer the best varietals from around the world. The store sources its extra-virgin olive oils from California-based Veronica Foods, whose husband-wife duo has spent decades roaming the globe to find the most interesting oils.
Elsewhere in the store, balsamic vinegars come ready to drizzle over desserts, flavored salts offer zesty alternatives to bland white crystals, and ready-to-eat appetizers cut down on party prep better spent hilariously coating the foyer floor in olive oil. While shopping, guests can avail themselves of the helpful staff for suggested pairings to help experimental cooks create the perfect dish.
Steeped in the knowledge of old-world family recipes, Orazio's Italian Crepes and Gelato prepares traditional Italian treats with a modern twist. Try a savory Mediterranean crepe with baby spinach, olives, feta, and grape tomatoes, or satisfy sweet cravings with a dessert crepe stuffed with Nutella and fresh fruit. Gelato?in flavors such as strawberry, roasted pistachio, and coffee?pairs well with an espresso or cappuccino, creating the perfect snack to lull away the afternoon.
JaFaFa Hots/Most Pizza gratifies guests with a menu featuring a prodigious selection of pizzas as well as hot dogs, burgers, and other classic comfort cuisine. Start out with the perfect fusion of geometry and gastronomy with the onion rings ($2.75), or opt for the aerodynamic efficiency of straight-cut french fries ($1.99). Fresh-made dough forms the foundation for 11 different pizza crusts—including honey garlic, Cajun, and lemon pepper—at the base of custom pies blanketed with the usual topping suspects or with unconventional choices such as breaded eggplant and hot cherry peppers. Pizza partisans can also pick from a menu of specialty pizzas so big it can be seen from the solid-cheddar surface of the moon, including chicken-parmigiano pizza ($13.55 for a medium) and jerk-chicken pizza ($13.55 for a medium). Dog lovers and sausagistas can skip the slices in favor of Polish or Italian sausage ($3.99) or a bun-burdening half-pound Sahlen's hot dog ($4.50) topped with the house's secret JaFaFa sauce, a delicious amalgam composed in part from a flavorful whisper reduction.
The chefs at Great Northern Pizza Kitchen draw upon Italian, Greek, and American culinary traditions while topping pizzas. After tossing crusts by hand, they turn to blue cheese, buffalo sauce, shredded pork, morsels of feta, and pico de gallo. Though some toppings seem adventurous, the mac 'n' cheese pizza and the potato-skin pie, a combination of bacon, sliced potatoes, and cheddar cheese, call to mind simple comfort foods. Tables clatter with plates of salads, pastas, and sandwiches in an 80-seat dining room with exactly enough spots for the 10 families cloned from the Brady Bunch.
Brodo doesn't want to leave anyone out. It bills itself as a fine-dining restaurant with a casual atmosphere, and the menu bears that out, with dishes ranging from classic comfort food?such as stone-oven pizzas?to nouvelle cuisine, such as free-range chicken with pesto-marinated spaghetti squash.
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If you had a nickel for every type of sandwich served at The SoupHerb Gourmet, you’d have 20 nickels. Whether it’s stacking oven-roasted turkey on a sandwich, rolling a veggie wrap, or ladling housemade soup into a bowl, the staff of The SoupHerb Gourmet makes every item to order. But those 20 types of sandwiches are the focus of the menu, from roast-beef paninis slathered with herb mayo to Cajun chicken wraps with avocado and red peppers rolled into cheddar flatbread. Wine by the bottle or glass as well as imported and domestic beers complement these savory sandwiches. Brownies and slabs of carrot cake close meals with a bang, like an indoor fireworks finale or a carrot cake being splattered against the wall.