Vito?s Italian Restaurant and Bar is part eatery, part arcade. Pool and air-hockey tables populate the floor, and video games like Golden Tee provide kids and adults alike with hours of fun?or just the few minutes it takes to get a table. The restaurant even has a crane machine for players to try to nab a stuffed animal or a stuffed pepperoni. A jukebox plays popular tunes while diners refuel with hand-tossed thin-crust pizzas and deep-dish pies. Chefs can customize crusts with garlic butter or Cajun seasoning, depending on patrons' whims; they top specialty pizzas with grilled chicken, bacon, and ranch dressing, to name just one. The menu also offers burgers, sandwiches, pasta, and the popular Goofy Bread?plain dough baked with garlic butter, mozzarella, and parmesan.
Like chili popsicles and videos of grizzly-bear ballerinas, Italian food is enjoyed around the world due to its versatility and heartiness. The menus at Cariera's are drawn from globally pleasing Italian recipes, and the pastas are homemade. Begin a meal in traditional fashion with an antipasto of steamed mussels ($10.25), calamari Cariera (the family recipe—sautéed squid in lemon butter sauce with tomatoes, onion, and capers, $11.25), or bruschetta ($5.25, add mozzarella, $7.25) and a glass of Chianti Classico Reserva ($10). Settling the debate over whether or not to order pasta, all entrees at Cariera's that aren't made with pasta come with a side of pasta, so you can order your lasagna ($13.25), bistecca di lombo di vitello (chargrilled veal chop with cherry-balsamic reduction, $22), or pollo frangelico (almond-encrusted chicken breasts with Frangelico cream sauce, $15.25) with confidence. A glass of grappa is a fitting dessert as the sun sets on Cariera's breezy outdoor patio ($6).
The family-owned Toarmina's has served up its signature sweet sauce and gullet-stuffing, 24-inch pies since 1987. The menu boasts traditional pizzas ranging from the small one-topping ($8.99) to the two-footer with three toppings ($24.39)—a favorite at giant-division ultimate frisbee leagues. The casual eatery's aromatic ovens also cook up deep dish ($11.99–$13.99) and specialty picks such as the steak and cheese ($12.49–$28.99), which blankets melted mozzarella and american cheese over steak, mushrooms, onions, and golden italian dressing, and the veggie ($11.49–$25.99), a garden party of mushrooms, black olives, diced green peppers, and onions.