Hand-tossed pizza was once as common as bowler hats and retirement benefits. The pies on Bow Mar's menu resurrect this lost American tradition with sauce and dough made in house and a taste as fresh as a brand-new set of bocce balls. Get three to ten toppings on a full-fledged pizza for $9.99, or stick to cheese for $6.99 (cheese sticks are $3.99–$4.99). A meat-feast specialty pie ($9.99) comes with pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham, and meatballs. If one is your loneliest number, personal pizzas provide ample company ($3.49–$4.49). For more-three-dimensional sustenance, try 10 hot-'n'-spicy or honey-barbecue wings ($6.99), an 8-inch Italian beef or meatball sub ($5.99), or a large garden salad ($3.99).
When most people think of Chicago-style pizza, they probably imagine a dense, deep-dish pie weighed down by an inches-thick layer of cheese. But the chefs at Nicolo's Pizza point to a different definition offered up by famed Chicago film critic Roger Ebert. In an interview with Vanity Fair , Ebert estimated that as much as 85 percent of Chicago's pizza is built upon a thin crust, and that what really sets the city's pies apart is the homemade sauces, sausages, and crusts cooked up by Chicago's abundant Italian population.
That's exactly the type of Chicago-style pizza that Nicolo's has been dishing up for more than 30 years, using recipes born generations ago in Italy. Each thin or hand-rolled crust is made fresh every day, topped with a choice of sauce such as traditional red, alfredo, or garlicky extra virgin olive oil, then baked in an authentic stone-bottom oven. Patrons can choose their own ingredients––which range from housemade italian sausage to artichoke hearts and green chilies––or choose one of the shop's specialties such as The Big Cheese, a gooey combination of mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, bleu cheese, and ricotta, or the Hawaii Five-O, topped with chicken, red onions, and pineapple, layered between teriyaki sauce, mozzarella, and a signed photo of Jack Lord. Beyond the pizza pan, chefs painstakingly assemble layers of fresh noodles, ricotta, and sauce into classic meaty or vegetarian lasagna and slather chicken wings in a variety of sauces, including pomegranate chipotle and thai peanut.
Sazza's delicious mission is to bring delectability at a minimal environmental cost, starting at the top with as many organic, locally sourced ingredients as possible, all the way down to the free-range artichokes, recycled soda-can patio furniture, biodegradable cups and glassware made from wine bottles, and you-degradable pizza and salads. Sazza staffers even wear recycled tees that have been donated by customers (in exchange for a discount) and re-branded with the Sazza logo for new life in wear.
Robert Perella and his staff of talented chefs serve up appetizing feasts of crowd-pleasing Italian and pizzeria fare. Cooks diligently fashion each mouthwatering pizza with the crispy-thin crust and charming vocal accents of New York and East Coast pies, tantalizing palates alongside fresh, verdant salads and garlicky treats. In addition to dishing out classic, Empire State–style pizzas, Perella's provisions feastings with hearty sandwiches, such as a full-size meatball parmesan or tasty pasta meals, such as the meaty ziti or meat lasagna. As guests sup on Italian treats, pours of house vino or frosty brews complement dinners like impromptu bouts of dancing complement a senatorial debate.
The ovens at Joyce's Famous Pizza fire up seven days a week to bake fresh dough for the eatery’s sub sandwiches, filled calzones, and seven varieties of pizza. Elsewhere in the kitchen, chefs toss crisp chef's salads with mushrooms, black olives, ham, and pepperoni and coat chicken wings with hot or mild barbecue sauce. Pasta specialties such as eggplant parmesan and lasagna help make the menu as well-rounded as a python after swallowing a beach ball.
The resident chefs at Bucci’s Greek & Italian Specialties harness the tasty power of fresh meats from local butchers and ingredients imported directly from Greece to assemble platters of authentic cuisine. The restaurant’s menu boasts starters to oil up rusty jaw hinges, including flambéed saganaki ($8), a gooey flash-fried cheese traditionally prepared with an open flame to achieve maximum meltiness and ward off grub-thieving satyrs. The kitchen’s Mediterranean mavens assemble gyros ($9.75) by rounding up shaved lamb and beef and anointing the tender bites with homemade tzatziki sauce. A hefty selection of knife-and-fork-requiring Italian entrees includes sausage and peppers ($16.25 for a large order) snuggled together atop a bed of linguine beneath a melty blanket of mozzarella.
Garlic Jim's menu was handcrafted with nothing more than a dream and an incredible reserve of pizza-making expertise. Open an order with some gourmet chicken wings, available in barbecue, garlic, and hot, before moving on to pizza territory. Put an end to eating Legos by piecing together a custom pie. Choose from the hand-thrown thick, garlic thin, or gluten-free crusts, slathered in one of seven sauces (from classic red to zesty chipotle pesto), and then slap on any of 15 standard and 11 gourmet toppings (14-inch large pizzas start at $11.99, extra-large $14.99; each additional topping for a large is $1.50). To achieve customization without the stress of having to choose, turn to one of the pre-determined specialties. Meat-maul hunger with the Hercules (salami, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, beef, spicy Italian sausage, and bacon; $18.99 for large, $21.99 for extra-large), or discover the secret of pizza-temperature fusion in your head with Jim's bacon-cheeseburger pizza (beef, bacon, red onions, tomatoes, mozzarella, and cheddar; $18.99 for large, $21.99 for extra-large).