Bensi co-owner Genci Previzi helms an immense menu of classic Italian cuisine, including hearty homestyle dishes with roots in Calabria, Italy. Entrees, joined by a house salad or cup of comforting housemade soup, range from spaghetti and meatballs to gluten-free grilled chicken in a lemon-garlic marinade served over a veggie medley. The chefs also prepare an array of specials such as pignoli-crusted goat cheese and arugula salad, barolo-braised veal osso buco, pan-seared Chilean sea bass with eggplant caponata, and nutella chocolate pizza with fresh strawberries. The dishes are served in a modern dining atmosphere where minimal table settings and simple dark-wood furniture keep the focus on the vibrant cuisine.
Operated by a close-knit band of familial mozzarella landscapers, Gus’s New York Pizza bakes its pizza dough fresh each day and festoons it with more than 20 toppings. Avant-garde eaters can paint an abstract circular self-portrait with bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, or green peppers ($4.59–$12.99/pizza, $1.39¬–$1.89/topping)—or defer to an expertly built specialty pizza, such as the feta-laced greek pie topped with green peppers, black olives, fresh tomatoes, and onions ($16.99/medium, $18.99/large). Sports fans, meanwhile, can nosh on cheese fries with bacon ($3.99) and an oven-baked 8-inch philly steak sub ($6.99) without having to look down and miss a single moment of the nation's perplexingly popular new sport, ball. Otherwise, add a gourmet touch to a mundane hostage negotiation with a plate of lobster ravioli ($8.79). Prices vary at the Kiln Creek, Grafton, and Stoney Creek Lane dinner menus.
If the murals in Tuscany Ristorante Italiano's romantic dining room didn't tip you off to the eatery's Italian influence, the scents coming from the kitchen would. In there, chefs sauté Gulf shrimp, cuts of veal, and fillets of fish before tossing them with the house's pasta and sauces. They also craft traditional thin-crust pizzas using their own freshly made dough, basil, and natural cheese to capture traditional Italian flavors. The shop opens its doors from breakfast onward and begins building light breakfast dishes as well as bistro sandwiches and salads that burst with spinach, grilled chicken, and goat cheese, just like a farmer's piñata.
At The Vineyards Trattoria and Pizzeria, chefs execute a playbook of distinctly Italian recipes that yield peppercorn-encrusted steaks, hand-tossed pizzas, and seafood and pasta dishes slathered in tomato and wine-butter sauces. While loading their forks with penne ala vodka, diners can complement bites with sips from the expansive wine list, which includes red and white wines from both Europe and America. The restaurant’s crispy pizzas strictly abide by the rigid standards of the Associazione Vera Pizza Italianas, which demands hand-pressed dough, pizza sauce made with tomatoes imported from Italy, and a permission slip signed by the Italian government.
While they wait for their tables, guests can pass the time at the full-service bar before taking their seats amid the dining room's parchment-colored walls and portraits of rustic Italian scenery. The Vineyards' catering services provision wedding receptions, birthday feasts, and corporate parties with tasty plates of baked ziti, chicken parmigiana, and baked eggplant.
Although there's no shortage of delicious staples such as cheeseburgers or pizza by the slice, the majority of the menu at Andy's Pizza & Grill strives to set itself apart from the status quo. Specialty pizzas topped with buffalo chicken and drizzled bleu cheese are just a starting point, giving way to creative tummy-busters such as a seriously stuffed pizza containing every topping in the house. Fries arrive loaded with a ridiculous collection of toppings including chili, bacon, three kinds of cheese, and a clown nose. Even the humble hot dog finds itself elevated as Andy's chefs roll it up in pizza dough in an homage to old-fashioned pigs in a blanket. The real crowd pleaser, though, is a challenge of taste rather than convention––the eatery's Hot-Ness challenge dares spice lovers to test their tolerance against a 12-inch pizza topped with jalapeño pizza sauce, habeneros, and ghost chilies, which are recognized as one of the world's hottest peppers.
Brickhouse Tavern draws inspiration from New York pizzerias and roadside diners in equal measure, compiling a menu of familiar American comfort foods. The eatery demonstrates its commitment to the region by sourcing as much produce from local farmers as possible, supporting growers who embrace organic and eco-friendly practices in particular. These ingredients lend vibrant flavors to the tavern's signature pizzas, which are created using generations-old family recipes as well as a bit of New York flair. With more than 20 toppings available, guests can design personalized pies with anything from meatballs and fresh garlic to salami and jalapeños. Classic pasta dishes also allow the tavern's Italian origins to shine through an otherwise all-American smorgasbord of burgers, wings, and french fries that don't understand the metric system.