Aromas of roasting pine nuts, pesto sauces, and baking lasagna fill the air as chefs at Ferrari’s Little Italy and Bakery craft traditional Italian fare according to the owners' family recipes. They sprinkle the signature insalata Ferrari with cranberries, pine nuts, and gorgonzola cheese and top the pollo basilico's roasted chicken with rigatoni, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto cream sauce. Additionally, a pair of bakers slides around 150 loaves of fresh focaccia bread into their ovens each day, yielding slices topped with three colors of bell peppers, spinach, and gorgonzola cheese. These appear in glass bakery cases alongside pastries and artisan gelato from local dessert makers Madisono’s Gelato and Sorbet.
Inside Ferrari's multiple dining areas, gas fireplaces flicker among exposed-brick walls, and family photos help create a homey feel. On the outdoor patio, fragrant wisteria vines climb a wooden pergola, and a picturesque fountain quietly babbles recommendations from the wine list.
Rusty's Ristorante's chefs craft a truly extensive menu that presents classic Italian and American cuisine side-by-side. The menu is characterized less by fusion than partnership; chicken livers and bacon share a menu page with veal marsala, and appetizers feature eggplant parmigiana or calamari next to good, old-fashioned hot wings. But beyond all of the choices, seafood, pasta, and veal hold the spotlight here, with specialties such as veal picatta, charbroiled halibut, and a dish made up of half spaghetti and half ravioli for the full Italian experience. Hoagies, burgers, and ribs help round out the menu, and all dishes can be complemented with a glass of wine or beer in a down-to-earth casual atmosphere.
The chefs at Mt. Adams Pizza are more than happy to let you create your own pizza from their collection of more than 30 toppings—including buffalo chicken, gyro meat, vegan sausage, and roasted red peppers. But they’ve also engineered a selection of specialty pizzas, including the white Diablo Chicken pizza, which they load up with buffalo chicken, blue cheese, and jalapeño peppers. They can craft gluten-free pizzas smothered in vegan cheese, as well as vegetarian-friendly pizzas. Gyros, calzones, and Italian-inspired hoagies round out the menu. The chefs keep cooking until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, when college students are most in need of a study break.
Conceptualized by Chef Joshua Steven Campbell, a Cincinnati native, Mayberry and World Food Bar bring creative tastes to the community without ever pressuring the community to adopt creative eating techniques in return—traditional methods such as teeth and forks are acceptable. Mayberry's modest, warm atmosphere invites patrons to feast on fancified versions of classic comfort food such as the Sloppy Josh sandwich (slow-cooked beef with rosemary and spicy mustard, $7) for lunch, paired with a tater-tot casserole ($3). Transitioning palates to dinner hour are elegant small plates such as pepper-bacon-wrapped pork medallions sweetly accompanied by barbecue chickpeas and goat cheese ($10) and the restaurant's herbed flatbread with guava, kalamata olives, and feta cheese, which can be made with lamb or with minted tofu for vegetarians ($10).
Since 1954, dough-sculpting artisans at LaRosa’s have crafted a menu of delectable Italian specialties using heaps of fresh ingredients and a family recipe. An array of tasty pies awaits hungry visitors, from the double pepperoni ($5.99–$14.99) to the buffalo chicken, which entertains a devoted entourage of black olives, tomatoes, and jalapeños ($6.79–$19.99). Customers can also hire toppings for freelance work on pizzas of their own creation ($4.79–$12.99 plus toppings). Shy meats and veggies hide inside calzones, such as the Philly cheesesteak calzone, which provides a toasted cavern of shelter for sirloin, white cheddar, onions, and stray cheese ($5.99). In addition, LaRosa’s boasts a spectrum of hoagys, salads, and pasta and offers a sweet adieu to finished meals with a dessert of Italian crème cake ($4.89) or cinnamon-sugar dippers ($3.99).
Ever since the Philly cheesesteak courted Memphis ribs and gave birth to the Phyllis cheese rib, intercity culinary marriages have been hotter than a mojito in 2006. Today's Groupon exemplifies this richly intermingled tradition with $20 worth of Chi-nnati's Pizza in Madeira for $10. Expose your palate to the cheesy depths of Chicago-style pizza without once violating Indiana's travel ban.