Matteo Giordano came to New York from Sicily by boat on December 22, 1915. Though cargo was light, he managed to bring his tabby’s cat condo and his prized book of recipes that had been passed down through generations. He eventually opened his own bakery and used his family’s tomato-pie recipe to delight the taste buds of Mayor Fiorello La Guardia at the world’s fair.
Using the light, flaky pastry and rich tomato sauce of Matteo’s tomato pie, The Original Big Tomato owners Richard and Phyllis continue the tradition of classic Italian pizza. Their gourmet tomato pies incorporate unique ingredients such as zucchini, tuna, avocado, and gouda cheese. The sweet Jamaican jerk pizza combines chicken, scallions, carrots, and cilantro onto a circular pie, whereas the fiesta frijoles celebrate south-of-the-border tastes with ground turkey, black beans, and jalapeños. The Original Big Tomato also serves wrap sandwiches and boule salads—fresh greens and vegetables in French boule bread—and also performs catering.
Top Pizza packs patrons' bellies with selections from a menu packed with New York–style pies strewn with medleys of more than 20 toppings. Like slam-poets in a geometry class, diners can orally attack triangular shapes sprinkled with up to four toppings, ranging from extra cheese to sausage to jalapeños. Mangle 10-slice pies along with garlic rolls inside toothy caverns while pausing to use refreshing soda to hydrate parched esophagi or water a grove of sugar-cane trees.
At Rocco’s Pizza Lounge, a team of pizza Picassos hand-toss dough prepared with imported Caputo flour before painting it with fresh sauce, covering it in a broadcast of cheese and toppings, and sliding it into a wood oven blazing at 900 degrees for crispy, cooked-in flavor. Patrons can dive right into pie heaven with more than 20 gourmet pizzas to choose from, including the tirolese, which finesses senses with fresh mozzarella, san marzano tomatoes, speck, and arugula ($15), or the pizza ala vodka’s vodka-infused pink sauce blanketed by mozzarella, shallots, mushrooms, and prosciutto ($15). Diners can also indulge in fare less easily applicable to mathematics, such as pappardelle tossed with Rocco’s homemade bolognese meat sauce ($15). Rocco’s also accommodates miniature appetites with more than 20 Italian-style tapas, such as the calamari fritti ($9) or uova in purgatorio, poached eggs prepared in a spicy tomato sauce and a course on Dante ($8).
The chefs at Empire Lounge & Pizzeria toss dough into thin, circular canvases before slathering them in red or white sauce, topping them with handfuls of mozzarella cheese, and crowning them with vegetables and meats. Red and white sauces also make an appearance on pasta dishes such as spaghetti and lasagna. Along with classic Italian eats, Empire Lounge also serves up a selection of Mediterranean items including fried lamb and marinated chicken kebabs.
Super Pizza One's chefs whirl up delectable pies with regular, thin, or thick crust. While they offer pizza suggestions—traditional and house specialties include pesto, four cheese, and Meat Blast—customization is key, as they welcome customer requests of light or extra sauce and well-done or crispy crust. They also provide appetites with pasta, burgers and sandwiches, and desserts such as flan, pie, or cheesecake.
Since 1969, the cooks at Mario the Baker have followed the same tried-and-true recipes, resulting in pizza after fresh-baked pizza emerging from the oven with the same flavors as the restaurant's very first batch. Diners settle into red and black booths to split signature pizzas, including La Maflosa pizza with sliced eggplant and mozzarella. As part of an unrefusable offer, the Godfather pie comes topped with capicollo, ham, and salami and is served with a side of housemade italian dressing.
Red Zone Sports Bar and Grill envelops sports fans in a laid-back atmosphere while servers whisk classic pub fare such as pork sandwiches and flatbread pizzas to tables teeming with pints of Sam Adams, bottles of Guinness, and a cascade of buzz-worthy cocktails. Guests can bask in the glow of flat-screen TVs indoors as their favorite teams duke it out, or venture to the outdoor patio for breeze-kissed dining. Specials such as happy hour and all-you-can-eat wings stretch themselves across the weekly calendar, while college night on Thursdays encourages scholars to debate the merits of sandwiches versus wraps through dissertations written on bar napkins.