Red and green racing stripes cut across the dining room walls of Mazarella, as if prophesying the uncanny speed of the pizzeria’s skilled chefs. Overseeing the action are owner Craig Padgett and his wife Michelle, who have owned Mazerella’s for more than 12 years, populating Southern Indiana with handmade pizzas available for dine-in, carryout, or delivery. As patrons slide into the marinara-red chairs, wooden fan blades waft aromas of hearty pastas and signature butter breadsticks into noses. Gooey pies erupt from the kitchen in several signature varieties, crowned by the legendary Big Z, with 15 toppings in all. During lunch, the restaurant’s popular buffet gives customers the chance to mix together dissimilar tastes, such as cinnamon sticks, salad, and napkin shreds.
Natives of Palermo, Italy, brothers Vincenzo and Agostino Gabriele share twin passions for food and their Italian heritage. Both loves are combined under the same roof at Vincenzo's Italian Restaurant?by the owners' count, a winner of more than 20 separate culinary awards. Chef Agostino Gabriele began his culinary career at age 14 back in Palermo before moving on to kitchens in Milan, Dusseldorf, and St. Louis, commonly known as "The Dusseldorf of the Midwest." Gabriele's internationally honed cooking skills helped him become a James Beard?honored chef and win a DiRoNA award with his brother for Vincenzo's in 2007 and 2008.
Inside the kitchen, Chef Gabriele tops plates of al dente spaghetti with South African lobster tail and petite shrimp and roasts farm-raised chicken breast with asparagus tips, sun-dried tomatoes, and gorgonzola cheese. The eatery, which also offers an extensive wine list and souffl? desserts, has been visited by a number of celebs, including Muhammad Ali, Steven Spielberg, and Sylvester Stallone.
The first location of Puccini’s Smiling Teeth opened in Indianapolis in March of 1991 to widespread acclaim. Though they've since added 13 other locations and expanded the menu to include Italian chicken entrees, salads, and sandwiches, they have never compromised their strict standards for pizza. They build each crust from gluten-free rice flour or all-natural, bleach-free wheat flour. This dough forms the foundation of nearly 20 specialty pies topped with imported cheeses, sun-dried California tomatoes, fresh herbs, shrimp, and other gourmet ingredients.
The chefs also toss pastas—made gluten-free with corn, upon request—with vodka-cream, alfredo, and diavolo sauces, and cook up meats such as shrimp and piccata-style chicken. Accompanying the food is a compact wine list and a selection of craft and gluten-free brews tapped from the naturally occurring beer geysers of Indiana and the Midwest.
Throughout history, some have used flags to stake their claim on a corner of the world. Others have drawn lines on maps. But it’s pizza that firmly marks the territory of Kenna’s Korner, where cooks hand toss their dough before colonizing it with dozens of fresh toppings. Served with ranch dressing on the side, the Kenna’s Special combines buffalo-wing meat with bacon, mushrooms, jalapeños, and onions, slathering the assortment in special sauce and two kinds of cheeses. Kenna’s rounds out its menu with salads and a selection of sub sandwiches, each nestled within an 8-inch hoagie roll and filled with everything from double hamburger patties to beef and sausage swimming in pizza sauce.
The community-centered chefs at Papalinos hand-toss a menu of fresh, New York–style pizzas, crafted from house-made dough and locally sourced cheeses and veggies. Crown an expansive 18-inch pie with a decadent dusting of artisan toppings such as house-cured bacon and local mushrooms, or opt for classic NYC toppings, which include fresh-cut pineapple, house-made fennel-and-sage sausage, and crinkle-cut back issues of the New Yorker. Swirls of italian plum-tomato sauce and whole-milk mozzarella cheese smother each slice in rich and colorful flavors and spicy hints of oregano and basil, inviting diners to wash down each savory slice with bubbly sips of iced tea or fountain or bottled soda.
The tasty array of casual Italian tastes at Bearno's will warm bellies while the friendly neighborhood service warms tomato-shaped hearts. Appetizers such as spicy boneless chicken wings ($7.49 for a large) and garlic cheese stix ($7.49) lay the foundation for a robustly-flavored repast, while fresh salads ($3.99–$10.99) cleanse the palate in preparation for savory sandwiches ($7.39–$8.99), build-your-own or pre-conceived specialty pizzas ($8.99–$37.99), and classic pasta dishes. Wrap paws around a slice of Mama Bearno's pizza, loaded with sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, olives, and mozzarella ($17.99 for a medium), or mumble a mouthful of chicken parmesan with a side of mostaccioli ($7.99). If you are having trouble deciding between menu categories, opt for a hybrid open-faced pizza hoagie ($7.39), or blindfold your index finger and point.