You'll never find canned tomatoes or a pre-made pizza crust in the kitchen at Valentina's Pizzeria, where the staff prides itself on the ingredients it makes in-house every day, from the freshly grated cheese to the sauce mixed with herbs straight from the garden. Owner Greg Steele oversees the crafting of a menu filled with a selection of pizzas, calzones, and subs as well as sides such as eggplant fries and cheese bread.
Horny Goat Brew Pub crafts a menu of comfort fare and American fare with its private label of craft microbrews, Horny Goat Brewing Company. The recently built BFT (Big Fun Tent) spans 14,600 square feet and boasts a 20'x20' stage, a 10'x16' flat-screen video wall, and lounge furniture. The heated complex also includes sand-volleyball courts. When the aggressive yelps of an ignored appetite prove too bothersome, the eatery can provide empty stomachs with a Loaded Tots appetizer, topped with beer-cheese sauce and bacon, and the pulled-pork sandwich, served with apple coleslaw. On Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., the brunch menu fulfills diners' desires with savory options such as the Eggs Benny—an english muffin, canadian bacon, and hollandaise—or the crisp belgian waffle, served with strawberries and whipped cream.
Toppers' pizzasmiths craft a menu of saucy cylinders, sandwiches, and wings until 4 a.m. Swan dive into an inventive specialty pie, such as the cool chicken-bacon-ranch or the spinach-and-feta-speckled California Topper ($13.99 for a 12"), or construct your own pizza with more than 20 available toppings for an edible edifice more flavorsome than an astronaut's house of Tang ($9.99+ for a 12"). Other tongue merriments include buffalo wings ($5.99 for six), quesadillas ($7.99+), and grinder sandwiches, which come enswathing savory meats such as chipotle chicken or smoky barbecue beef ($5.99 for 6", $8.99 for 12"). Topperstix—hand-tossed breadsticks piggybacking tasty adornments that range from cheese to berry—can act as meal sidekicks, desserts, or handheld props during table-top reenactments of Don Juan's famous food fight against Duke de Lorca ($4.99+; eight dipping sauces available).
Tazinos Pizza & Salad Bistro provides patrons with a buffet-style smorgasbord of specialty pizzas, pastas, and salads. Already cooking at three locations, a fourth eatery in downtown Milwaukee is slated to open its doors this summer. Each casual restaurant revolves around an all-you-can-eat menu of fresh, nutritious Italian fare, including pizzas crafted from natural Wisconsin cheeses and dough that is kneaded onsite every morning using unbleached flour and absolutely no high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats, MSG, or magic beans. Pies range from classic pepperoni and authentic Italian margherita to the specialty Tailgater, topped with Klement's bratwurst, green peppers, brown mustard, and barbecue sauce. Salads, such as a sweet Asian-style slaw, and pastas, ranging from mac 'n' cheese to garlic-and-herb fettuccini, keep forks gainfully employed, and each meal is rounded out by a selection of soups, desserts, and spicy pepperoni rolls.
On Saturday and Sunday, Sunriza pizzas fend off the morning munchies with renditions of breakfast favorites in pie form. Topping choices include eggs and bacon, eggs ranchero, and morning-fresh veggies, and each slice may be enjoyed alongside other breakfast staples such as french toast, cereal, and mini cinnamon rolls.
Nominated as one of the area’s best Italian spots last year on WISN.com's A-List, this Italian-American fusion eatery serves a menu of family-style dishes and handmade entrees. Mike’s signature lasagna awaits noodle enthusiasts ($8.99), along with an à la carte menu ($8.99–$21.99, plus toppings), from which guests choose a pasta, sauce, meats, and vegetables. Create-your-own pizzas top a handmade thin crust with a La Susa family vine-ripened-tomato sauce and a crown of 100% real Wisconsin mozzarella ($5.99–$11.99, plus toppings). A spicy La Susa specialty pie enlivens bland mouth dances with a wheel of fir sporting a menagerie of sausage medallions kick-lining across a field of bacon, as well as habanero-pepper Hustle-performers ($17.99).
The “pleasingly puffy” crust and “inventive flavor combinations” the chef creates for Transfer Pizzeria Café's inventive pizzas earned the establishment a feature on Serious Eats. Today, they craft more than 40 different kinds of pizzas with different combinations of about 30 toppings, all laid atop house-crafted sauces: tomato, garlic, pesto, barbecue, and peanut. Made with local and organic ingredients when possible, the pizzas range from traditional to inventive, with combinations more compelling than that of Al Capone’s safe. The pollo verde features chicken with pesto and tomato sauce, feta, and asiago cheese, and the Diavola is topped with hot peppers and salami. Transfer Pizzeria Café's crew strives to give back to the community by featuring local art and live music, and it contributes its vegetable and fruit scraps, used coffee grounds, and discarded paper airplanes to an area compost network.