Usually to get into the Hall of Fame, you have to hit 400 home runs or crush an opposing quarterback a hundred times. The only crushing likely to be seen at Maria's Cafe & Italian Restaurant, however, is that of helpless garlic. Nonetheless, the Sicilian eatery found itself a recipient of NBC12’s Restaurant Report Hall of Fame Award in 2009. The accolade might be a product of its decor’s Mediterranean-art deco design, or it might be a celebration of the recipes cooked by its Sicily-born owners.
From baked pasta entrees such as manicotti to house specialties like the wild mushroom ravioli, the menu unites classic Italian ingredients. Wraps, pizza, paninis, and calzones complement the core offerings, and a wine and beer menu ensures no one at the table resorts to drinking from their purse—the ideal location for a bag of wine.
Operating under the belief that food and celebration should go hand-in-hand, the lively staff at Antonio's Ristorante and Wine Bar makes sure that each visit feels like a party. Diners can toast the day with glasses of award-winning wine while enjoying classic Italian dishes such as veal parmesan and pasta carbonara. Ristorante Antonio’s chefs also festoon hand-tossed and deep-dish Sicilian pizzas with a selection of nearly 30 toppings, which include artichoke hearts, pepperoncini peppers, and calamari rings that diners can use to hold back their hair for hands-free eating.
Although tomatoes top the grocery list each week at Twisted Tomato, the pizzeria's most prominent ingredient might be cheese. It's melted inside crispy pizza rolls and calzones, layered across 7- or 14-inch grinders, and sprinkled over hand-spun specialty pizzas such as the Maui Wowi, which is generously topped with ham, pineapple, and plane tickets to Hawaii. Additionally, parmesan, provolone, and blue cheese abound on Twisted Tomato's salads, and cheesecake makes a sweet ending for a dairy-driven meal.
Family owned and operated, Italian Delight whips up a massive, multi-faceted menu of savory and fresh pastas, pizzas, and salads for gastrognomes and gastrogiants alike. Dig into dining with an appetizer such as the bruschetta ($6)—ideal for practicing for impending sharing competitions—or sink fangs into the foliage of the Caprese salad ($7.50), a hillock of roasted red peppers, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. Pastaholics can shirk table manners and slurp their way through the baked spaghetti ($8.50) or linguine with shrimp sauce ($13.99), spiting a nefarious nanny with each disappearing noodle. The Italian sub ($6.50) makes munchables from a motley crew of ham, salami, and provolone, while the traditional New York–style pizza ($9.50 for a 12-inch, $11.50 for a 16-inch) can be bedecked with toppings ($1 each) such as pepperoni, pineapple, and green peppers.
For more than 15 years, Candela's Pizzeria has been quelling pizza cravings with New York–style and Sicilian pies palatably decorated in a selection of more than 20 toppings. With a firm belief that variety is indeed the spice of life, the menu boasts an eclectic culinary collection, featuring bacon cheesesteaks, veal picatta, tortellini alfredo, and burgers. Patrons can wash down the filling fare with an imported or domestic beer, or choose a chianti or white zinfadel to pair with the atomic wings known for coming from a close-knit nuclear family.
A chef for more than 30 years who has had a role in the opening of several restaurants, Nuccio Giambanco helms Veranda Ristorante, where he and his culinary team offer authentic Italian cuisine. Their menu boasts classic pastas such as baked penne, rigatoni with sausage and peppers, and penne carbonara. Entrees include chicken or veal marsala, shrimp scampi, and New York strip, alongside Neapolitan-style pizzas.