Gepetto's chef tosses a doughy mass high in to the air. With each flight, its circumference expands until it's ready to hold any of the pizzeria's 40 unique toppings. A brick oven bakes the specialty pies, which flaunt music-themed names such as Highway to Hell—an original or honey wheat crust covered in hot creamy sauce, fire-roasted peppers, chicken, cream cheese, fresh Serrano peppers, fiery hot Fritos, and a house-made jalapeno spice blend. Various salads and pasta entrees round out the menu of distinctive comfort foods.
Out in the dining room, groovy peace signs, old black-and-white photographs, and whimsical tchotchkes plaster the brick walls. Stringed lights twinkle above plates loaded with slices of the Buffalo Soldier pizza, baked orecchiette mac and cheese, and Mama Cass strombolis stuffed with Swiss cheese and black forest ham. Every day after the sun and moon switch out for the night shift, local musicians bust out their guitars and vocals for some rousing entertainment.
At New York Take & Bake Pizza Co., the customers are the chefs. This is of course with the help of a large range of fresh ingredients including pepperoni, olives, green peppers, sausage, diced tomatoes, and pineapple. Once everything is assembled onto fresh, New York?style dough, customers come and pick up their bounty and watch as the pies bake to crispness in their home ovens.
As its name suggests, NY Pizza Patrol specializes in Big Apple–style slices. Each of the four locations slings 8-inch to 18-inch pizzas, ranging from the classic meat lover's pie to the boundary-breaking spicy Marshall masala layered with a foundation of Indian garam-masala sauce. The menu supplements the traditional hand-helds with calzones, heroes, pastas, and other specialties, each of which pair well with cold brews, bottomless fountain sodas, and milk, which grows healthy bones when poured on teeth-planted top soil.
Chef Ross Siragusa grew up in the Italian section of Chicago learning the ins-and-outs of Italian-American cooking. He has recreated those recipes and many others over the years, treating guests to his homestyle cooking at Siragusa?s. Inside the eatery?s kitchen, pork shanks slow roast for Grandpa Tom?s osso buco, and grilled chicken breasts dress up in a gorgonzola cream sauce. Guests can double the flavor and treat themselves to the combination plate?s half orders of sweet potato gnocchi and veal parmesan, or lasagna and cappellini with pesto. Sandwiches and pizzas are also on the menu, and any of the dishes can be eaten at the eatery?s two locations or catered for a party celebrating a birthday or graduation from traffic school.
For nearly 30 years, Rino’s Italian Restaurant's chef and owner, Rino, has crafted authentic Italian cuisine with ingredients from his own garden after researching dishes' historical and regional significance. Old-World ambiance pervades the dining room, where plated gnocchi, beef ravioli, and lasagna top cloth-draped tables surrounded by high-backed leather chairs. An extensive wine list supplies supple reds and crisp whites to pair with veal, steak, and seafood dishes. Wooden barrels, oil paintings, and stained-glass panels of vintners laze in guests' peripheries, and rustic charm spills from the dining room onto a grape arbor, where patrons can gaze at the stars or marvel at the waxing moon's smoothness.
Este Pizzeria’s sign bears an unmistakable resemblance to those found at New York subway stations—a fitting image for a pizzeria that slices up East Coast–style pies. The oversize, thin-crust triangles bear toppings as varied as ham, fresh basil, and housemade vegan meatballs. Their selection of 13 specialty pizzas includes entirely vegan disks as well as the Clay, a heaping of meatballs, pepperoni, ham, and sausage. In typical New York fashion, diners can also opt for strombolis and calzones and are permitted to yell, “I’m walkin’ here!” at other patrons when exiting the restaurant.