The “giant slices” at Pizzaiolo's Pizza & Pasta are not named lightly—they’re so big, they require two plates to hoist their cheesy mass. This emphasis on quantity extends to the eatery’s New York-style pies, which range from 16 to 30 inches in size. Sprinkled with toppings such as chicken and jalapenos, the pizzas are tailored to each order, satisfying the needs of vegetarians, carnivores, and elusive omnivores alike. Calzones, meatball subs, and daily pasta specials round out Pizzaiolo’s smorgasbord of Italian staples.
The New and the Old Worlds collide at Villa-O, creating a modern cuisine that draws inspiration from Italy's Amalfi Coast. Beginning with imported semolina flour and purified water, the chefs fashion each strand and tube of pasta before frying them in a wok, which lends a distinctive touch to the restaurant's otherwise familiar pasta dishes. Organic, locally sourced produce, free-range meats, and telekinetically delivered seafood show how the restaurant updates traditional Italian dishes by introducing contemporary flair.
Italian-born chef Vincenzo Indelicato remained true to his Sicilian culinary school training when designing Villa-O's menu. In addition to traditional, Neapolitan-style pizzas loaded with imported pepperoni or housemade sausage and baked in a wood-burning oven, the selection includes a handful of dishes that depart from the norm, such as the portobello mushroom fries that D Magazine hailed as "addictive." The restaurant's wine list is equally eclectic, featuring bottles from throughout the world (though emphasizing the vineyards of Italy and California).
The main dining room surrounds its polished teak tables with modern white chairs and, according to Gayot, uses its "open floor plan with shiny mahogany, serene blue hues and nautical prints to create a veil of vacation." A sense of Mediterranean escapism does seem prevalent at Villa-O. Chrome and cerulean stools line the bar, which gleams in the natural light that streams through the front wall's floor-to-ceiling windows. To get a bit closer to the sunshine, diners can grab a table on the shady patio and enjoy their meal while relaxing on a plush sofa or in a teak rocking chair.
The Pizza Guy deems dough ready to metamorphose into pizza only after it sits for 48 hours, affording yeast ample time to produce a rich taste and texture. During its 14 years in business, the eatery's allegiance to delivering high-quality pies has touched all layers of its Italian assemblage, from the Stanislaus tomato sauce that glazes the crust to the Grande cheese sprinkled thereupon. In addition to jumbo hot wings, the menu delineates 11 specialty pies, including the Hawaiian and the spinach alfredo. Diners can also design their own pizzas by pulling from more than 20 toppings and thick, thin, or hand-tossed crusts. The Pizza Guy delivers, preps pies for carryout, or keeps them shrink-wrapped in pans so customers can take them home and give a jaded Easy-Bake Oven something to savor.
Greenville Avenue Pizza Company stays open until 3 a.m. seven days a week, folding and tossing specialty pizzas, wings, and calzones. A monthly wing-eating contest tests the stomach's limits and taste buds' patience by making them work overtime, though the reward is in each bite; wings can be coated in any of the pizzeria's specialty sauces, ranging from hot or mild to lemon pepper and orange chipotle. Piping-hot pizza comes by the slice or whole pie, with specialties such as the greek pizza with sun-dried tomatoes, feta, pepperoncini, and green olives. More in league with the way home dining rooms feel than how typical pizza parlors are set up, the restaurant’s interior lets diners lounge on padded chairs and benches featuring wrought-iron embellishments as they gather amid displays of art and tables long enough to seat whole families, teams, or all your Canadian girlfriends.
A go-to East Dallas hangout known for its great beer selection and laid-back atmosphere (think dim lighting, red vinyl booths, pool tables and a jukebox), Bryan Street Tavern is also recognized as having some of the best bar food in town. That’s particularly true of the thin and crispy-crusted pizza, offered with unusual toppings like buffalo chicken, blue cheese and celery or corned beef, sauerkraut and Thousand Island sauce. Beer-basted chicken wings are offered in a kaleidoscope of different flavors, ranging from mild to burn-your-face-off; other options include a Philly cheese steak topped with traditional Cheese Whiz, or a candied jalapeño-battered corn dog, all of which pair perfectly with one of the many local craft beers on tap. The dog-friendly patio’s picnic tables are packed when the weather permits.
Touting four eateries including a brand-new Denton location—the Cedar Springs location crowned as one of Dallas's best pizza spots by CitySearch Voters in 2010—Zini's Pizzeria entrances taste buds with colossal specialty pies and pastas doused with house-made sauces. More than 100 coins of pepperoni and a pound of mozzarella embellish the popular 100 Pounder pizza, a pie used to motivate T-rexes to increase their highest bench-pressing weight. A garden's worth of fresh spinach, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and roasted corn set down roots in the Farmers Market pie. A recipe kept close to the vest or encrypted on wooden spoons guides chefs as they concoct a secret sauce destined for the crispy crust of their famous Garlic Cheezi Bread.