In the mines of northeastern Pennsylvania, workers heave loads of clean-burning anthracite coal and ship them to businesses such as Coal Fire, where chefs scoop the same coal into their 900-degree ovens to bake pizzas and wings. Before baking the pies, the chefs hand-toss the aged dough, then cover it with one of three original sauces and thick, house-made mozzarella cheese, as well as only the freshest produce and toppings such as sun-dried tomatoes and pepperoni. Outside the kitchen, servers slide across the polished floorboards, delivering platters of steaming pizzas and frosty drinks from the full bar.
With a name that means the literal state of being pizza, Pizzaness isn't about to pull any punches with its bubbling, golden-brown pies. Oven-baked creations range from the traditional meat-topped pizzas to greek and barbecue chicken, and include a creation dressed in salami, ground beef, feta, and green peppers dubbed the "uniqueness." In addition, kitchen staff also prepare hearty cheese steaks and Italian cold-cut subs, as well as slabs of rich lasagna. Buckets of grilled chicken wings and customizable calzones, meanwhile, make the ideal meals for the one party that even the College Dean wouldn't shut down.
Luna Blu?s walls showcase hand-painted murals of an idyllic Naples coastline, its cerulean hues echoing the dining room?s candles and blue glass accents. While the decor evokes the Italian landscape, the cuisine barrels straight into authenticity. Owner and executive chef Erin Dryden peppers the pasta dishes and stews with fresh seafood, just as cooks in Naples might fill their entrees with fish from the Tyrrhenian Sea. Additionally, sweet Italian sausage or artichoke hearts mingle with colorful cheese tortellini, and an ample wine list complements entrees.
Before chefs at Carini's Pizza, Subs & Pasta pick up a single pepperoni or shred of mozzarella, they mix, knead, and hand-stretch dough and prepare sauce from scratch. Then, and only then, pizzas are personalized with more than two-dozen toppings, from chicken and bleu cheese to ground beef, sour cream, tomatoes, nacho chips, and mozzarella. But the menu also includes alternatives for guests who ate pizza for breakfast and lunch: pasta and sub sandwiches can stop them from consuming three round meals.
After working in family-owned restaurants in Italy for years, the chefs behind DiMeo's Pizzeria decided to open their own eatery in the States. Inventive specialty pizzas like the Philly Supreme (topped with rib-eye chopped steak) pop out of ovens before heading to tables alongside plates of veal parmigiana and lasagna bolognese.
Sponsored by the Love for Luca foundation for the second consecutive year, the Italian Wine Market Festival raises glasses and awareness for the fight against cancer. Mingle outdoors below a white-crested tent, sample domestic and international elixirs that enchant tongues with swirling mixtures of tannins and notes of fruit, and demonstrate an ability to speak eloquently while holding a pint of red wine in your cheeks. While not a formal, bow-tie pasta event, the well-seasoned chefs from the Italian Market and Restaurant cater the festival, piling plates with portions of rustic, gourmet cuisine for festival-goers. Between bites, pit the fruitful whispers of pinot noir against buttery compliments from chardonnays or the spritely tongue of a sauvignon blanc. Music and food tastings wind well into the evening, and a portion of the festival's proceeds benefit the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, donated on behalf of the Love for Luca organization.