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.
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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The time-tested Italian dishes populating Avezzano Ristorante’s menu span generations, having been passed down throughout the years, according to metroWNY. Prelude feasts with plates of jalapeño ravioli ($6.95), whose breaded-and-fried shells are drizzled in a rich red-pepper coulis. Sautéed with fresh mushrooms and herbs, succulent cuts of chicken ($14.95) or veal ($18.95) sail down tongues on the surging currents of a marsala-wine demi-glace. Sage-brown-butter sauce buoys pan-roasted cod filets ($18.95) sheathed in a thick almond crust designed to fend off oceanic predators and plastic silverware. Crown sated bellies with one of eight decadent meal closers, such as a pillowy cream puff ($4.95) or a slice of peanut-butter pie ($5.95).
Bruno's Pizzeria treats its guests to a smorgasbord of tasty Italian-American cuisine, from pizzas covered in specialty toppings such as dandelion and stuffed pepper, to boneless chicken wings and piping hot baked subs. Diners stop in for sit-down feasts of steak-covered pizzas or pepperoni-stuffed calzones, or order catered party buffets of lasagna, rigatoni, and three-bean salads.