Tommaso's Italian Grill warms bellies with a menu of American favorites and pizzas concocted from house-made dough and freshly made sauces. The chefs hand-toss dough ($7+ for cheese and one topping) and artfully decorate disks with jalapeño, hamburger, and spinach ($1.25+/topping) before hanging them on the back diners' chairs. Between bites of hot wings ($5.99 for seven), guests can solicit investment advice from a collection of sage bobbleheads on a windowsill or catch reflections of a double meat burger ($6.99) on the surface of a hanging disco ball. Augment a selection of pastas ($7.99+) with homemade sauces—such as simple garlic and olive oil or a protein-rich meat sauce—and top dishes off with a pair of meatballs ($2) or a sextet of shrimp ($4).
Since its inception in 1974, Birraporetti's has melded Italian cooking with a traditional Irish-pub atmosphere, serving hand-tossed pizzas baked in their stone oven alongside robust Irish coffee and spirits. CBS Houston highlighted its oven-fired pizzas as some of the best in the city, specifically lauding the house bianco pizza for eschewing traditional ingredients such as tomato sauce and shredded copies of the Mona Lisa. The kitchen remains open until midnight to accommodate late-night cravings, yet the chefs still rise in time to serve Sunday jazz brunches replete with made-to-order waffles, omelets, and desserts served amid live jazz performances.
At the heart of every dish on Candelari's menu—including its signature thin- ($17–$22), thick- ($18–$23), and deep-dish-style ($19–$24) pizzas—are the famous Italian-sausage recipes of Alberto Candelari, all of which are made with choice meat, natural spices, and hints of liqueur. The T-Rex's spread of pepperoni, ground sirloin, useless forearms, Canadian bacon, and Candelari’s andouille and original Italian sausages lets you sample all of the finest meat-fruits of Candelari Sausage Company founders Greg Wheeler and “King of Sausages” Michael May (Alberto’s grandson). Build up to its bounty beforehand with a plate of sausage misto ($7), which features grilled Italian, turkey-jalapeño, and chicken-apple sausages piled atop provolone polenta. Diners that look suspiciously like flocks of seagulls inside a trench coat can find out what a grilled salmon ($14) tastes like when complemented by gulf shrimp, lemon-caper butter sauce, and veggies. Otherwise, avoid all the menu botheration and opt for the daily lunch buffet ($9–$9.50), which includes unlimited pizza, pasta, salad, and a drink.
DoubleDave's Pizzaworks crafts a crusty assortment of hearty, hand-tossed pizzas, Peproni rolls, stromboli, and more. Choose a pie from DoubleDave's selection of specialty pizzas ($19.99 for an 18", $15.99 for a 15", and $12.99 for a 12”) such as the buffalo-chicken pizza, which outfits its surface area in mozzarella, chicken strips, wing sauce, and ranch dressing. The duplicitous Dave's Fave offers carnivore-coaxing meatball and sausage or veggie-baiting tomato, garlic, and spinach on an olive oil, garlic, and oregano base. Do-it-yourselfers design their own pies ($10.99 for a 15", plus $1.59 per topping) with a customized blueprint of size, toppings, and type of crust. DoubleDave's chefs offer repose from a barrage of traditional pies with Peproni rolls ($7.99 for six), featuring pepperoni and cheese stuffed into claustrophobic, doughy confines. Or escape the boot-shaped grip of the Mediterranean with a philly cheesesteak stromboli ($10.99 for large, $5.99 for small).
Owner Peter Giovanniello crafts his secret sauce with tomatoes culled from the same grower used by his Naples-born father, who perfected the recipe more than forty years ago. A variety of New York–style pies populate the menu, including the all-meat pizza ($12 for a medium), which serves as an arena upon which pepperoni, sausage, ham, beef, and bacon battle for flavor supremacy. Fix a modest hankering by selecting pizza by the slice ($1.85 for cheese, $2.08 for pepperoni) or a small 9-inch cheese pizza ($5; $0.50 for extra toppings), which can also double as an edible frisbee. For eats of the non-pie variety, customers can plunge their fangs into the restaurant's selection of calzones ($5+), strombolis ($5+), and wings ($6–$7).
Roberto Rosa first discovered his love of cooking at age 13, when he began learning recipes from his grandmother Antonia. Two decades later, the owner of Antonia’s Cucina Italiana shares his love of all Italian fare, transforming chicken, seafood, veal, and house-made pasta into colorful dishes during lunch and dinner. Across the three locations, décor and amenities vary, from outdoor seating to exposed brick walls and checkered floors where diners can settle arguments over who pays the bill with games of human chess.