Two guys, Sam and Bob, walk into a bar. There, the two lament the price of food and decide to do something about it on the spot. As the owner of more than 50 pizza joints in Colorado, Bob had the know how and resources; so, with cost in mind, the duo created Take Or Bake Pizza. Today, Sam and Bob preside over chefs as they hand toss and bake 14-inch pizzas as well as craft uncooked pies bound for warming in home ovens or slow melting on the hood of an Italian–made Ferrari.
Cioffi's was founded by Carmen and Antonietta Cioffi in 1963 after moving from Naples, Italy. Thanks to a loyal following and delicious pizza, the Cioffis began cooking up other Italian classics from the Old World, eventually moving to a larger eatery to accommodate their growing fan base. Today, the family still oversees the homey Italian eatery, offering a menu bustling with classics from Europe's boot, including Sicilian pizza, eggplant parmigiana, and shrimp scampi. They also hold events that may include free wine tastings, Italian feasts, and meet-and-greets with local celebrities.
Richard Castellano had two passions in life: acting and cooking. He pursued the former, taking on the role of Peter Clemenza in The Godfather and earning an Academy Award nomination for his role in the 1970 film, Lovers and Other Strangers. Castellano passed away before he could pursue his passion in the kitchen, so his nieces and nephews decided to do so in his honor. The result is La Cucina de Clemenza Ristorante, where chefs prepare Italian fare from fresh ingredients. Grass-fed veal scaloppini, shrimp scampi, and chicken balsalmico emerge from the kitchen alongside hearty pasta dishes, such as the penne alla cinque cinque, which features jumbo shrimp and arugula sautéed in extra-virgin olive oil. Diners twirl their forks and swirl glasses of wine amid decor that makes the restaurant’s silver-screen inspiration known. Alongside portraits of Castellano and quotes from his Godfather alter ego, a pastoral mural depicts the Italian countryside where Don Corleone and Pete Clemenza played hide-and-go-seek in the director’s cut.
Pizzeta Enoteca dishes up Italian fare, but nothing about this eatery is stuffily traditional. Instead, the staff strives to create a fresh, hip atmosphere, one that appeals to New Jersey’s young families. The menu makes the concept clearer with its headlining pizzetas and their unique toppings. The small-serving, thin-crust pies come crowned with everything from buffalo chicken to four-cheese blends to garden vegetables, mozzarella, and garlic to mimic the flavors of caprese salad. Although Millburn-Short Hills Patch says that “pizza is the way to go at Pizzeta,” the menu boasts a slew of tasty antipasti, paninis, and pastas. It also has dessert covered. Ricotta-filled cannoli and espresso-soaked tiramisu end meals more sweetly than a hug from a waiter who happens to be a kitten.
At each of Michelino's Restaurant?s four locations, kitchen staffers build upon three different depths of pizza crust?thin, deep dish, and Sicilian-style?with ingredients such as sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, steak, and pineapple. The tasty results are served alongside platefuls of baked pastas and hot sub sandwiches layered with veal cutlets, eggplant, or chicken and mozzarella, all adding their own rich scents to the dining rooms? Italian perfume.
The front counter at Little Italy showcases the spectacular array of pizzas that the skilled chefs whip up back in the kitchen—thin-crust pizzas lined with gooey circles of mozzarella, deep-dish pizzas dotted with sausage, and square-shaped pizzas decorated in slender slices of lemon. Once pizzas are showered in combinations of vegetables, seafood, or meat, and loaded into the oven, chefs turn their attention to other Italian specialties—cheesy chicken parmigiana, crunchy Italian-style subs, and plump calzones.
Customers split orders of wings out in the warm dining room, where soft, white curtains surround large, light-baiting windows. Others opt for delivery services, preferring to enjoy meals in the comfort of their own home or the fancy bank lobby they like to pretend is their home.