Tortellini. Strawberries. Chicken marsala. You'd normally find these foods on porcelain dishware, not on top of pizzas. At Pizza Oven Mamma Mia, however, they're essential toppings to some of the eatery's most popular pies. In fact, at their glassed-in display counter, you might even see these unorthodox toppings all mingling on the same tray?a slice of penne-vodka pizza next to a slice with broccoli and onions. The rest of the menu is a bit more traditional (eggplant panini at lunch, veal parmigiana at dinner), but you can always end your meal with another of Mamma Mia's unique slices: Nutella dessert pizza with those aforementioned strawberries. Other favorites include Sicilian rice balls, fresh meatballs, breaded chicken cutlets, fresh-made sauce, stuffed peppers, stuffed eggplant, ravioli and Italian sausage, and more.
Pizzeta Enoteca dishes up Italian fare, but nothing about this eatery is stuffily traditional. Instead, the staff strives to create a fresh, hip atmosphere, one that appeals to New Jersey’s young families. The menu makes the concept clearer with its headlining pizzetas and their unique toppings. The small-serving, thin-crust pies come crowned with everything from buffalo chicken to four-cheese blends to garden vegetables, mozzarella, and garlic to mimic the flavors of caprese salad. Although Millburn-Short Hills Patch says that “pizza is the way to go at Pizzeta,” the menu boasts a slew of tasty antipasti, paninis, and pastas. It also has dessert covered. Ricotta-filled cannoli and espresso-soaked tiramisu end meals more sweetly than a hug from a waiter who happens to be a kitten.
From the dining room, you can watch the Mancino's chefs slide pizzas in and out of the brick oven, each pie emerging with a crispy golden crust. Though pizza is the main attraction, the chefs also assemble hearty sandwiches and whole-wheat pasta dishes, paired with Italian staples such as prosciutto di parma and freshly baked ciabatta bread.
Mancino's has exchanged the standard-issue red-checked tablecloths for crisp, white linens. Wall sconces and dangling pendant lights illuminate the restaurant's tastefully minimal dining room, the kind of place where the queen might celebrate her pizza-party jubilee.
Homemade meatballs nestle into piles of spaghetti under a blanket of fresh red sauce. Local produce tops crisp pizzas, and hot and cold sandwiches embrace fillings with locally procured bread. Here at Macchu Pizza & Tomato Pies, one wide window permits lots of light into the room, whose simple, spare decor allows the food to remain the centerpiece.
The dough wizards at Papa John's Pizza hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
It would be easy to pass an entire afternoon in Frank Anthony's lush garden courtyard, reclining on comfortable patio chairs and slowly polishing off a bottle of BYOB wine. Servers stroll through the forest of linen umbrellas, expertly balancing trays of Italian dishes while refilling glasses of San Pellegrino. Inside the elegant dining hall, intimate tabletops host guests, whose faces are illuminated by the glow of soft hanging lights. In the kitchen, chefs fold fresh meats, seafood, and seasonal vegetables into traditional Italian dishes, tossing crispy calamari in garlic, baking crusty Italian rolls, and crushing plum tomatoes using only their minds. Meanwhile, pizzas rise in the oven, speckled with toppings of wild mushrooms, savory sausage, and spicy peppers.