The chefs at Arianno’s Pizza craft Italian fare from fresh ingredients and house-made recipes. They hand-toss dough and bedeck it with house-made sauce and layers of real mozzarella cheese before personalizing the pizza, whether by slathering it with any of the restaurant’s 15+ toppings or by naming it "Steve." The pizzeria’s lengthy menu also showcases pasta dishes, each of which is accompanied by a side of garlic bread as well as platters of baby back ribs and hot subs packing fresh proteins and cheese.
Bonafede-family matriarch Anita started JoJo's Pizza Kitchen more than four decades ago, and her discerning taste for ingredients is still identifiable in the menu. Though her son Joe, who napped on flour sacks in the back of the restaurant as a child, now runs the eatery, fresh basil and plum tomatoes grown in Stanislaus County still release aromas that hint at sun-soaked furrows. Through a dining room window, guests catch glimpses of chefs tossing freshly risen dough for pizzas or smaller chefs for their adorable giggles. They grate fresh parmesan cheese as wine cooks slowly down with mushrooms on the stovetop and chicken marinates in lemon and garlic. Servers bustle past, filling glasses with house wines or draft beers.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
It's often said that people have many different layers. In the most literal sense possible, the same applies to the Northern Italian cuisine at Mustazzoli Ristorante Italiano. Just look at the restaurant's signature appetizer: bruschetta crescenza. It starts with three pieces of crispy, homemade baguette, onto which is piled crescenza cheese, asparagus, prosciutto ham, and a drizzling of white truffle sauce. If complexity is what these chefs are going for, consider their goal achieved.
But the chefs bring this same attention to detail to every aspect of their menu, from pastas tossed with clams and New Zealand mussels to desserts of homemade white-chocolate cannolis. Once they've put on the finishing touches, they send these dishes off to two different dining rooms, in which guests trade bites with sips of wine and beer.
If you're curious about how to get the most out of your Mustazzoli experience, here are three of our favorite pro tips:
Giovanni's Pizza prides itself on the ingredients it uses to make its piping hot pies?all-natural ingredients, daily-made dough, and fresh produce and mozzarella cheese. Put it all together and you get tasty pizzas such as the Giovanni's Special with salami, italian sausage, bacon, pepperoni, and a host of veggies. The menu also features pastas, grinders, and sandwiches doused in the house spaghetti sauce. Flat-screen TVs and a pool table make this spot a nice place for a family dinner or an outing with friends.
John's Incredible Pizza Co. graces guests with acres of incandescent entertainment options and a fully stocked buffet ($9.49 value, $1.50 value for drinks). In addition to a slew of soups, salads, pasta, desserts, and traditional pizza choices, the buffet brandishes a bouquet of specialty pizza creations, including spicy peanut-butter, barbecue chicken ranch, and alfredo pizza.