Between Boskos Trattoria’s exposed stone walls, ruby-hued booths and tables showcase sandwiches stacked high, fresh pastas made daily, and pizzas baked to a golden finish in a wood-fired oven. Chefs bake house-made focaccia garlic bread to commence culinary adventures, as well the burrata appetizer. Artfully crafted tiramisu and cheesecake cap off meals, which the wait staff serve under a hanging mirror and lighting that, like a sack of potatoes recently crushed by a piano, is soft. Libation connoisseurs top off glasses with beer, coffee, and your choice from 30 wine selections.
Within the inviting milieu of a family-owned eatery, Pizza Gourmet's disc forgers bake hand-tossed pizzas topped with such epicurean ingredients as gruyere and whole roasted garlic cloves. The Five Star pizza ($15.50−$21.75) mixes it up with a blend of five cheeses including fontina, feta, and parmesan, and the elegant Barcelona pizza ($17.75−$23.95) evokes Spain’s cultural capital with seasoned chicken and artichoke hearts, brought to the table by stampeding bulls. Patrons can garnish a plain New York–style pizza ($11.50−$15.50) with a slew of sauces ($2−$3) including barbecue, ranch, or salsa; herbs and vegetables ($1−$1.50) such as cilantro, basil, and zucchini; meats ($1−$1.50); and 23 specialty toppings such as yellow squash and bleu cheese ($2−$3). Pies are available in 12-inch or 16-inch varieties and can be ordered without cheese.
Over the course of 20 years, Checkers Bistro's cuisine architects have designed a menu of Italian fare, constructing breads, dressings, and sauces from scratch. Sun-dried cranberries and candied walnuts burst from plump butternut-squash ravioli, slathered in shallot cream sauce, surprising its smoked-chicken roommate ($16). A Mediterranean entourage of pesto, feta, olives, and pine nuts escorts the greek pizza ($10 for 6", $13.50 for 9", $20 for 14") to a mozzarella-skirted red carpet teeming with sun-dried tomato starlets and artichoke-heart heartthrobs. Couple the prosciutto-wrapped scallops ($18) or fiery thai noodle salad ($12) with a hearty serving of Checkers' customer-lauded tomato-basil soup ($3.50 for cup, $5.25 for bowl). The elegant, airy restaurant opens into an outdoor seating area where imbibers bathe in the fruity billows of Checkers' revamped wine offerings, doled out by the glass, bottle, or 10-gallon hat.
Though a typical sports bar’s main draw is usually its arsenal of flat-screen TVs, things run a little differently at Seasons Pizzeria Sports Bar & Grill. Nine 42-inch sportscasting screens do hang from the eatery’s walls, yet the real entertainment comes from the open kitchen, where acclaimed chef Glenn Cybulski hand-tosses thick California–style dough in front of diners' eyes before sliding it into a wood-fired oven imported directly from Italy. The chef cooks up a list of predesigned pies, from a crispy neopolitan to the meat-packed Carne, but also leaves some of the innovation to customers, customizing create-your-own pizzas topped with fixings such as canadian bacon and artichoke hearts. Aside from spinning out the decadent dough, the head chef also lends his talents to hand-pattied burgers, locally caught seafood, and slow-roasted barbecue slathered in homemade sauce and butterfly kisses.
All of Rico's Italian Pizza's dough discs are tossed by hand before being slathered with sauce, strewn with fresh toppings, and baked to a bubbly golden brown. Create your own circular edible by choosing thin, medium, or thick crust, then picking toppings ($11.95+). Or, go for a prearranged pie, such as the generously topped Carnivore (pepperoni, salami, italian sausage, ground beef, linguica, and canadian bacon; $14.95). Take-and-bake pizzas await ovens where they can be incubated until their flavors hatch ($8.95–$9.95). Rico's menu also offers sandwiches and salads for people who don't like cutting circles into triangles. Plus, the restaurant's casual décor makes any meal there more relaxing than a picnic in a gutted bus at the bottom of a quarry.
The name Biggies Pizza & Wings isn’t an exaggeration. The cooks hand-toss fresh dough for pizzas as large as 26 inches across and then top the circular foundations with robustly flavored toppings such as chicken, bacon, and mushrooms. Specialty pies include the BLT and the Hawaiian Holiday, which piles canadian bacon and pineapple onto a style of crust that’s more commonly used to make hula dancers’ skirts. In addition to crafting pizzas, cooks toss regular and boneless chicken wings in sauces ranging from sweet chili to hot. To round out meals, patrons may opt to fill up their plates at the salad bar with single trips or unlimited pilgrimages.