Established in 1990, the bar and grill formerly known as Pete's Pizza took on its new nommé de cuisine in 2008 after extending the menu to encompass burgers, sandwiches, pasta, and Greek fare from chefs Spiro Theodoropoulos and John Patouhas. The hugely varied pub fare weighs down tables in the expansive, relaxed dining room. In the adjoining bar, raucous games of darts, pool, and sudoku wait to break out. During warmer weather, diners take in fresh air on the stone patio that also provides the ideal amount of give for toe-tapping to the sporadically scheduled live music.
For Mark Greenbaum and his father, Lewis, sharing a pizza meant spending quality time as a family. When his father passed away, Mark decided that the best way to honor his memory was to give Chicagoans a taste of the New York–style pie he had loved so much.
Mark’s venture proved wildly successful—Time Out Chicago columnist and Brooklyn transplant Judy Sutton Taylor swears the eatery “could hold its own alongside any Brooklyn pizzeria.” Aside from the traditional thin-crust pies, the menu at New York Slices also features a specialty Grandma’s pizza with a thicker crust and hand-embroidered pepperonis.
Family owned since 1932, Alex's Washington Gardens serves a varied menu of sophisticated cuisine, starring fresh seafood and Italian specialties. Amphibious feasters can start with an appetizer of frog legs ($11) before diving into deep-sea delicacies such as salmon stimpinada, which is bathed in citrus, white wine, and red-wine vinegar and sautéed with celery and onion ($25). Hop aboard the from-scratch gravy train with saucy specialties such as pasta primavera, which tempts veggie lovers with a seasonal spread tossed in alfredo or marinara ($18.50), and ravioli al forno, which dresses spinach- and cheese-filled pasta in a demurely delicious ensemble of butter, garlic, and parmesan ($15.50/$10.25). Other offerings include pork chops served Sicilian style with a family of sweet peppers, garlic, and roasted potatoes ($23) and a variety of popular pizzas ($15+).
For more than three decades, Mario's has been a neighborhood staple, serving a unique menu brimming with affordable, Chicago-centric fare. Sink incisors into italian beef sandwiches, made with meat Mario's roasts in-house ($5.90), or pinch pearly whites into a juicy polish sausage ($3.65). Patriotic palates can puncture Old Glory deep into the meaty center of a grilled jumbo hot dog with fries ($4.55). Appease heartier appetites with equally affordable entrees, such as spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic bread ($5.35), or a 21-shrimp basket with fries ($5.95). Mario's specializes in pizza made from fresh dough and stretched into four different styles: thin crust, pan crust, Sicilian style, and stuffed. Choose a slice ($3.20+), an individual 8-inch pie ($4.60+), or customize a massive 20-inch behemoth ($17.25+) that doubles as a tasty tarp to cover Skidoos.
As the site of the classic Bing Crosby movie Holiday Inn, the 10-room Village Inn & Restaurant helps guests revel in vacation bliss with deluxe beds, scenic views of the Russian River, and a surrounding area speckled with wineries and other nearby attractions. Most rooms include a private balcony with a panoramic view of the water, and others feature garden views of majestic redwood trees and mega-lumberjacks. Hungry visitors can enjoy complimentary continental breakfast, and sleepy ones can make queen- or king-sized cocoons atop their European Sleep Works mattresses. Outside the stately quarters, guests can explore nearby hiking trails in the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve or cozy up at the inn's restaurant (closed Mondays and Tuesdays), which serves 140 Sonoma County wines and an array of steaks, chops, and seafood.