The pizza makers at Palio's Pizza Cafe crown regular, whole-wheat, and gluten-free crusts with fresh vegetables, preservative-free sauce, and roasted chicken. Chefs take the burden of putting together the best toppings with 17 specialty pizzas that pair gourmet ingredients such as artichoke hearts, roasted chicken, and fresh basil pesto. Ovens create bubbling pies, stuffed calzones, baked ziti, and italian sub sandwiches that servers carry through both chic, cozy locations. Leather-lined booths and flat-screen televisions keep diners comfortable and entertained while they enjoy Palio's BYOB policy and sip wine or Capri Sun pouches brought from home.
CiCi's Pizza combines the variety of a buffet with the thrill of bottomless pizza. Each pie is crafted with dough that’s made from scratch daily and then showered with marinara and toppings, from classic pepperoni and italian sausage to more creative buffalo chicken and mac 'n' cheese. The buffet is also stocked with a plethora of fresh pastas, signature salads, and independent salad ingredients. After feasting on savory options, diners can revisit the buffet for desserts including freshly baked brownies, slices of apple pizza, and cinnamon rolls drizzled with icing—or they can eat dessert first, thereby tearing an irreparable hole in the space-time continuum.
Inside Italian Xpress's kitchen, the cooks crown neapolitan thin-crust pizzas with an array of toppings ranging from ricotta cheese and roasted garlic to crumbled hamburger. Though they feature 10 different specialty pizzas on the menu, the cooks also bake manicotti, toast meatball-and-cheese subs, and cut out slices of New York-style cheesecake.
Michael Salerno celebrates the rich flavors of Italian food with recipes culled from the books of his beloved grandmother, Carmela, using never-frozen ingredients to create delicious steaks, seafood dishes, pastas, and salads. His restaurant’s softly lit dining space recalls a family dining room, replete with flowery wallpaper, old framed photographs, and relatives who don’t remember how old you are. Diners gather at the main rooms’ tables or in high-backed booths for generous helpings of pasta, which bear ladlefuls of thick, savory sauce and juicy house-made meatballs, or break bread in the spacious banquet hall.
At Lizzano's Pizza, the servers prefer that you bring your own drinks. They view their BYOB policy as a boon, not a financial burden, opining that diners who supply the wine tend to immerse themselves more fully in the eating experience. They've even compiled a list of libation recommendations based on popular choices at other restaurants, and they provide glasses and wine openers for patrons while eschewing any corkage fees.
This emphasis on neighborly behavior tints the restaurant's entire atmosphere, as well as its menu, which prioritizes southern Italian staples. Owner Tony Rika—who perfected his pizza-making techniques in both Rome and New York City—takes a hands-on approach to his cuisine, handmaking the marinara sauce, hand tossing the pizza dough, and high-fiving each of his fellow cooks while the disk is in the air. The staff delivers entrees such as chicken parmigiana and beef lasagna beneath the nigh-silent rotations of the dining room's gyrofan—an eye-catching ceiling piece that mimics models found on early trains and ocean liners. Around the tables, pictures of Italian landscapes complement the authentic flavors of housemade marsala and piccata sauces and seasonal specials that could include everything from mussels linguine to rich chocolate bread pudding.