Westshore Pizza’s cooks evoke the flavors of a Philadelphian eatery by using sauce made from California tomatoes, house-made dough, and hand-grated Wisconsin mozzarella as they bake New York–style pizza. In addition to adding such savory toppings as bacon, broccoli, and jalapeños, the staff also stuffs philly cheesesteaks with melted cheese and sautéed vegetables. Dedicated to fresh, quality ingredients, cooks also grill half-pound patties of Angus beef for their hamburgers and bake their own italian bread from a recipe found etched into the side of the Liberty Bell.
Chefs at La Casa Della Pasta embellish pastas, gnocchi, and desserts made in-house with handfuls of imported Italian ingredients, including eggplant and mozzarella. As owner Enrique Tangari told the Tampa Bay Times in 2011, "I import everything, flour, water, tomatoes, cheeses … to make any kind of pasta dish you want, on the menu or not." His commitment to imported flavor also extends to the restaurant's drink menu, which features wines made from such traditional Italian varietals as pinot grigio, sangiovese, and nebbiolo, as well as beers with suspiciously small amounts of fermented grape juice.
Drawing on culinary insights gleaned over 20 years of refining family recipes, the cooks at Antonio's Pasta Grille fill plates with sauce-draped pasta dishes and pizzas built on homemade dough. As they dip freshly baked bread into herb-infused oil, diners can stare wistfully at a mural depicting rolling hills, stone bridges, and wars between groups of talking animals from young-adult novels.
Chefs slather linguine noodles with house-made pesto sauce, toss salmon filets atop the grill, and simmer veal scaloppini in a white wine and lemon sauce in the kitchen at Da Giuseppe Ristorante & Bar. Out in the dining room, exposed red rafters and tangerine walls surround linen-topped tables populated with towering plates of pasta and traditional Italian desserts built from scratch.
Included in Spirit magazine's discussion of the top 10 pizza destinations in the country, Gourmet Pizza Company constructs pies to fit a broad spectrum of tastes and dietary regimens. The menu showcases conventional or rare toppings, such as Italian sausage, fresh mushrooms, crawfish tail, and escargot, and options include gluten-free crust and vegan cheese. Specialty pizzas (starting at $8.95 for 10-inch) include the steak gorgonzola pizza, topped with the house-cheese blend, gorgonzola, fresh mushrooms, caramelized red onions, and center-cut ribeye steak (vegetarians may substitute portabella mushrooms for ribeye steak). In the realm of meatless pizzas, try the Cheeseless Vegan, heaped with fresh garlic and a quintet of veggies including spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. The pie shop also serves seven different regional pizzas and allows pizza scientists to concoct their own pie ($6.95-$11.95 for 10- to 16-inch pies, $0.75-$1.75 each for toppings) from the more than 50 available toppings.
Papa John's has carefully crafted a menu of specialty pizzas to satisfy any taste or mouth shape. Order a Hawaiian BBQ Chicken, or go all-out and get The Works, a top-heavy combination of pepperoni, ham, spicy Italian sausage, fresh-sliced onions, green peppers, gourmet baby portabella mushrooms, and ripe black olives. Satisfy herbivores and herbivoyeurs with a Tuscan Six-Cheese or Garden Fresh pie. The full list of specialty pizzas includes several more; take the hassle out of haggling over individual ingredients and boldly cast your straight-ticket ballot for the pizza party that your conscious dictates.