Bella's Pizzeria's chefs take their time to make every dish special, from the utterly familiar pepperoni pizza slice to the unusually tasty veal francese. Their pizza dough is made from scratch daily, and the chefs top each disk with homemade sauce and fresh toppings. The chefs imbue pasta dishes with secret spice combinations, and they bake up a few special treats, like buttery garlic knots to warm up the appetite, or nutella-filled calzones.
Waves of heat radiate from an open oven door as a chef pulls out a Sicilian pizza baked to a golden finish, then slides in a fresh crust topped with eggplant, roasted peppers, and house-made mozzarella cheese. Other chefs prep for the dinner rush, cutting up homemade rigatoni noodles to later douse with a tomato or beef bolognese cream sauce. Classic Italian dishes can be prepared family style, in which heaps of pasta are divided among siblings according to their age or skill at dogsled racing. Emilio’s catering service also brings platters of pasta, salad, and sandwiches to parties of all sizes.
A display case of oven-fresh pizzas and savory side dishes greets diners when they approach the counter at Vincent's Pizzeria. The cooks bake dough in all shapes and sizes, selling slices or entire pies of Neapolitan, Sicilian-style, and deep-dish pizzas. Each cheesy canvas emerges from the oven with a layer of toppings from a selection of 12 meats and vegetables, which includes garlic, bacon, and spinach. Pizza eaters also have the option of customizing their pie-crusts with sesame, garlic, onion, poppy seeds, and salt, known as "The Edge." To lend a rustic touch to the pasta entrees, the cooks roll meatballs and simmer housemade tomato sauce over smoldering copies of Little House on the Prairie. Although the restaurant only holds a handful of tables in its dining area, it can also serve its customers by delivering orders to homes and catering special events.
The cooks at Frankie's Eastside Pizza prepare all pies and pastas fresh daily, which is no small feat when you consider the massiveness of their menu. It includes more than 45 specialty pizzas alone, loaded with eclectic toppings that run the gamut from eggplant rollatini to sweet barbecue rum chicken. The culinary team even crafts pies with gluten-free crusts or in the classic Brooklyn style, where each slice is shaped like the letter B.
The rest of Frankie's menu encompasses plenty of Italian classics, from generous portions of chicken scampi to hearty servings of housemade lasagna. For more American appetites, cooks toss fries in Cajun seasoning, pile roast beef into heroes, and fill wraps with ingredients like honey maple turkey.
Salvatore Fontana opened Fontana's Pizza in 1972 in West Babylon. Years later, his son Joseph took the reins by overhauling the menu and reopening the business in its current Long Island location, all while retaining his father’s integrity and work ethic. The latest menu includes square, Sicilian-style pizzas and regular round pizzas crowned with unusual toppings, from buffalo chicken and baked ziti to fried chicken and shrimp. To further set themselves apart from other pizzerias, the Fontanas also carry seafood items such as baked clams and mussels. But their biggest distinction is a personal endorsement from chef-turned-actor Joe Gannascoli, famous for his portrayal of doomed mobster Vito Spatafore on The Sopranos. All menu items are available for dine-in, carry-out, and special events, whether it’s a family get-together or a birthday party for one of the Ninja Turtles.
Some of New York's most familiar faces have been spotted enjoying Umberto's award-winning pizza. Rudy Giuliani. Eli Manning. Victor Cruz. The Statue of Liberty whenever a lightning storm reanimates her. There are more complex entrees as well?including seafood marinara with clams, scungilli, mussels, lobster, and calamari?but the crown jewel of the menu remains the specialty pizzas strewn with authentically Italian toppings such as meatballs and broccoli rabe.