Begin your trip down the meatball-lined sidewalks of Ciao Baby with a look at the menu of classic Italian eats. For antipasti, roll a homemade Sicilian rice ball filled with ground meat, peas, and plum-tomato sauce ($14.95) into your jaws. Lunch light with a member of the Wrap Pack, such as the Salsiccia Sammy (Italian sausage, tri-color peppers, and Vidalia onions sautéed in white wine and topped with mozzarella, $10.95), or lend some evening gravitas to your appetite with a dignified order for Nonna's Old World Meat Platter (freshly made meatballs, hot or sweet sausage, and San Marzano tomato sauce atop macaroni; half $23.95, whole $33.95).
The chefs at Bellissimo Ristorante Italiano craft traditional Tuscan and Sicilian dishes as well as their own idiosyncratic takes on classic Italian recipes. While digging into a half chicken breast in sage butter sauce, diners can admire the eatery’s wrought-iron chandeliers and walls painted to resemble an Italian villa. Tromp l’oeil arched pillars frame murals of pastoral Tuscan landscapes, depicting mountains, vineyards, and groups of tourists asking for directions.
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.
The menu at Frank's Pizza & Restaurant is divided into stripes of red, white, and green, emulating the Italian flag while collecting dishes from across the country. Chicken marsala arrives as an entree with a dinner salad or tops a thin-crust pizza, tossed from traditional, whole-wheat, or gluten-free dough. The kitchen also presses broccoli rabe paninis, tosses linguine with fried calamari, and nods to American cuisine with chicken fingers and a collection of domestic beers.
At Vincent's Pizza, experienced chefs use fresh ingredients to whirl together pizzas, pastas, and other Italian cuisine. The menu includes specialty pizzas with whole-wheat crusts, grilled chicken and broccoli rabe wraps, and traditional entrees, such as meat lasagna.
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.