At Napoli's, reverent chefs recreate the tastes of their Old World ancestors in the form of scratch-made pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches. Build-your-own pies arrive sprinkled with 100% real provolone and toppings ranging from pepperoni, ham, and bacon to onions, black olives, and green peppers. Doused in house-made sauces, Napoli's pastas include Italian mainstays such as spaghetti and meatballs, ravioli, and five-cheese lasagna. Their sandwich menu continues the old country love fest, filling plates with Mediterranean specialties including chicken cacciatore subs, meatball heroes, and paninis cut into the shape of Silvio Berlusconi.
Deli-meat missionary Danny Falcone emigrated from New York's Little Italy to bring a menu of Falcone-family favorites to Oklahoma City. A hot sandwich, such as the meatball parmigiana ($7.95), makes an Italian classic accessible in the forkless wasteland of lunch. A slice of fried pizza ($3) satisfies triangular cravings, and an entire square Sicilian pie corners growling stomachs ($16.99). Try a Manhattan Special soda, which washes down deli delights in a sugary sarsaparilla bath or tickles sugar tusks with vanilla bean-y bubbles. For those who prefer to eat at home, where there’s a comfortable armchair and no unfamiliar ghosts, by-the-pound deli items offer up olives stuffed with prosciutto, garlic, jalapeño, and cheese as well as imported Italian artichokes.
Aromatic plumes of smoke rise from The Wedge Pizzeria’s brick ovens, which imbue the crispy, browned crusts of the restaurant's seven signature pizzas with delicate notes of flamed pecan wood. Chefs dapple their saucy canvases with colorful strokes of truffle oil, roasted fennel, capicola, and figs that coalesce to form gourmet masterpieces. Tender pears arrive at tables in sealed envelopes of prosciutto alongside inventive salads tossed with beets, shallots, and oranges. Sunday brunch revives sleepy palates with bottomless mimosas and pizza slices loaded with local eggs and served atop ringing alarm clocks. Bocce balls clack in The Wedge's backyard during warmer months as fans root for their favorite players from the comfort of a spacious patio.
To reach their table at Spaghetti Warehouse, guests commonly have to step through two doors: the front door of the restaurant and the door of the antique trolley parked inside. Since its inception in 1972, the Italian eatery has merged the functions of kitchen and museum. Artifacts such as grandfather clocks, factory flywheels, and circus billboards surround diners as they delve into signature plates of 15-Layer Lasagna or hand-rolled meatballs. Apart from the items they've amassed, each of the buildings also has a particular history, from the one-time ice-manufacturing plant in Columbus to Memphis's Civil War munitions depot. Given their storied pasts, it's no surprise that several of these venues house their own ghosts—at Houston's warehouse, for example, elevator lights have been known to flicker, objects are mysteriously found in new locations, and a lady in a white gown is said to roam the restaurant.
Yet the main attraction of the place is the delicious food. Like any great Italian meal, made-from-scratch dishes are created from family recipes passed down for generations via email. Guests devour the perfectly al dente pasta, crispy calamari, bottomless soups, and 12-layer chocolate cakes while dining with family and friends. It’s that feeling of togetherness that people love about Spaghetti Warehouse, a feeling that is only enhanced when the drinks start flowing and the air is punctuated by the sounds of laughter as kids play retro games, such as The Claw prize-grabbing machine.
The menu is stocked with sandwiches, Philly cheesesteaks, pizza, clubs, salads, 13 flavors of homemade Italian water ice, and seasonal soups made from scratch daily. Hoagies, which are served on Hobby's own freshly baked Italian bread, are savorily slathered in lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, oils, spices, and Hobby's hoagie peppers. Melt mouth muscles with a meaty Special Italian ($4.65 for 7" and $6.79 for 12") packed with cappocola, ham, salami, and provolone cheese. Or try one of the fan-favorite Philly cheesesteaks; the original is crafted from prime rib eye sliced thinly atop a fresh roll and smothered in lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, peppers, onions, and cheese ($5.09 for 7" and $7.59 for 12"). New York–style thin-crust pizza ($4.49 for 8" plain to $13.99 for 18" plain) is taking a vacation from the Big Apple to tan its toppings in Hobby's bright ovens.
Trattoria il Centro's chef, Christine Dowd, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, brings years of experience in the garlicky, pesto-soaked trenches of Chicago and New York to her preparation of each seasonal dish. The menu tips over dinner's domino cascade with seared beef carpaccio ($10.95) and a salad of asparagus wrapped in pancetta and topped with parmesan foam ($9.95) before burying hunger alive beneath filetto con ravioli in a barolo red wine sauce ($28.95). The kitchen’s savants of semolina also hand-make an extensive list of pastas, such as the seafood-stuffed ravioli di mari ($17.95). Trattoria's pizzas—fresh from a wood-fired oven—range from traditional margherita ($9.95) to a quattro stagione ($13.95) with kalamata-olive tomato sauce and an egg sunny-side up.