The chefs at Desiderio Italian-American Grill hand-roll meatballs, sprinkle spices into the house marina, and fill plates with ravioli shells. They craft every dish using the family recipes of owners Rick Marrero and Victor Rodriguez, creating ricotta cheesecake and Grandma Joanie's meatballs, which blend veal, pork, and beef. What isn't crafted in-house is still handmade—the cannolis arrive fresh from Artuso Pastry, a bakery in the Little Italy neighborhood of the Bronx. The restaurant's dining space extends to an outdoor patio, which shades patrons with an awning, trees, and a cumulus cloud tethered to the roof.
The high levels of artificial preservatives and chemicals in modern pizza are the number-two cause of crow’s feet and dry mouth in America. Today's Groupon gets you $20 worth of fresh, organic pizza for $10 at zpizza, an oasis of natural, full-flavored pie in a wasteland of modern preservatives. zpizza offers bubbly pizza that’s safe for vegans, vegetarians, the gluten-shy, and snooty gourmands. Handcrafted rusticas join hot and cold sandwiches, crisp salads, and pasta on a menu full of organic options.A: Awful pizza. B: Bad Pizza. C: Crummy Pizza. D: Dad, I don’t eat pizza, I’m vegan now. E: Eat it, Stephanie, your mother worked hard on that pizza. F: Forgivably bad pizza, made by enthusiastic children.G: Gosh, this pizza is bad. H: Hey, everybody! I found an almost-untouched pizza on the bus!I: Insufficient portions of pizza. J: Just kidding, I’m not dying. I just wanted you to come over because I can’t finish this pizza. K: King Ralph wouldn’t even eat this pizza, and Wikipedia defines him as an “easy-going slob”! L: Lackluster pizza. M: Mediocre pizza.N: Not very good pizza. O: Okay pizza. P: Pizza (Italian, pronounced pit.tsa) is a world-popular dish of Italian origin, made with an oven-baked, flat, generally round bread that is often covered with tomatoes or a tomato-based sauce and cheese. Other toppings are added according to region, culture, or personal preference. Originating from Italian cuisine, the dish has become popular in many different parts of the world. A shop or restaurant that primarily makes and sells pizzas is called a pizzeria. The phrases pizza parlor, pizza place, and pizza shop are used in the United States. The term pizza pie is dialectal, and pie is used for simplicity in some contexts, such as among pizzeria staff.Q: Quietly hand me the pizza, and no harm will come to your beloved tarantula. R: Respectable pizza. S: Satisfactory pizza. T: Tony! Why come’a you don’t talk’a with’a fake Italian accent for the nice’a customers? U: Unexpectedly good pizza.V: Very good pizza. W: Whoah, who made this pizza, an angel? X: X-rays are a government conspiracy to increase your xenophobia and make you purchase xylophones. Y: Yikes! This pizza is so good it’s scary! Z: (see above)
The chefs at Bella Vita Italian Eatery support the restaurant’s name—which translates to “the good life” in Italian—by gathering friends and families around hand-tossed specialty pizzas and plates of rich pasta. The lobster-and-crab ravioli, which, according to staff, earned the title of Best Entree at the Cuisine de Commerce 2012, comes coated in a velvety sherry cream sauce. Other dishes include meat lasagna and the veal gorgonzola with creamy butter sauce, although the eatery scores recognition for more than just its food. In 2012, Bella Vita Italian Eatery won the reader's choice award for “friendliest restaurant in Prince William County” from InsideNova Network. Patrons can unwind even further while ipping a glass of wine from the full bar or participating in a postmeal shoulder-massage line.
Brixx gratifies its guests with a menu of casual but carefully constructed fare highlighted by a selection of artisanal pizzas. Begin the belly-filling fun with an appetizer of bruschetta ($5.95), which forces garlic crostini to shoulder a load of marinated roma tomatoes, fresh basil, and feta (add blackened shrimp for $4). Or kick things off with the savory triple shot of wood-fired pita chips with three varieties of hummus ($5.95), providing the taste-bud equivalent of getting three birthday presents from the same forgetful grandparent. An array of finger-friendly sandwiches and a quartet of pastas set the stage for a variety of pizzas.
Each hand-tossed mound of house-made dough travels one of two paths at Sal's NY Pizza. Either it's packed into a square-shaped Sicilian pan or fastidiously kneaded into a Neapolitan-style thin crust. The latter can measure up to 18 inches, which cooks top with nearly 30 ingredients, including marinated artichoke hearts and Philly-style steak. Pies aren't the only customizable item at Sal's—the culinary team also whips up personalized pastas with fixings such linguini, sausage, and carbonara sauce. Sal's pizzas and pastas stem from generations-old recipes, though cooks also craft more contemporary dishes, including orders of up to 50 buffalo wings doused in hot sauce.
Executive chef Gian Piero Mazzi fell in love with food at a young age, when he was growing up in the Liguria region of Italy. His mother’s passion for cuisine planted the seeds for his infatuation, which he cultivated during formal culinary schooling in Florence as well as an internship in France. After honing his skills in the kitchen, Mazzi ventured across the pond, earning new fans stateside when he showcased his recipes at an event at the James Beard House in 2002.
But that was just the beginning. Today, at two locations of Piero's Corner, he and his team hand make an assortment of authentic pastas, including ravioli stuffed with Maine lobster or a blend of spinach and portobello mushrooms. The menu highlights Chef Mazzi's hometown cuisine, with a focus on fresh seafood. Entrees include blackened tilapia and shrimp served with fruit salsa as well as scallops wrapped in prosciutto and arranged on a bed of spaghetti carbonara. Pizzas are made to order and baked in a brick oven, as are calzones stuffed with ingredients such as ricotta, ham, spinach, and tomato sauce. A gluten-free menu features pastas and doughs imported from Italy, whose climate doesn’t support gluten.
Both of Piero's Corner’s locations facilitate mini European getaways, with brick arches framing murals of Italian landscapes, and columns reminiscent of classical architecture supporting their ceilings. In Fairfax, diners can eat or sip wine al fresco beneath red and white umbrellas.