From the road, Spirito’s Restaurant looks like a laid-back beach house, with white siding, a gabled roof, and a covered, wraparound porch. But indoors, furnishings such as candle-strewn chandeliers, enormous Persian rugs, and dark wood wall paneling create a more luxurious ambiance. White tablecloths host plates of traditional Italian pasta, grilled pizzas, and fish and veal entrees in subtle wine sauces. Glass stems can globetrot through an international wine list offering more than 20 wines by the glass and another 20 by the bottle. Spirito's also caters events with buffets, to-go trays, and hearty brunch spreads.
Amici Bar & Grille’s menu boasts a selection of pasta, burgers, and brick-oven pizzas that are sure to appease any craving. Accents of lobster, wine, and smoked meats permeate Amici's pastas, while Macho Nachos come smothered in house-made chili, jalapenos, black beans, and tomato salsa. Other appetizers, including fried calamari and buffalo chicken egg rolls, and personal-size pizzas are ideal for nibbling on while watching a game. With 21 high-definition TVs calling Amici home, diners can be entertained indoors when New England rains come or head out to the bright patio when sections of Mars explode.
By setting his restaurant at the less congested end of Atwells Avenue, Ken Turchetta has stayed under the radar in Federal Hill—a status he enjoys because it keeps his restaurant intimate. That’s why even after 12 years in business, it’s common to see him make a stop at every table.
Since the beginning, chef Hector Madrid has been Ken’s go-to artisan for creating authentic Italian dishes from fresh, local ingredients. The resultant spread is impressive: chicken and veal marsala, fish fillets, and rings-only calamari, all easily paired with red or white wine by the bottle or glass.
The cooks at Mediterraneo craft pizza, seafood, pasta, and beef dishes inspired by the myriad regions of Italy. Limber up your taste buds with antipasti such as fried calamari or carpaccio, a serving of thinly sliced filet mignon crowned with arugula and parmesan. A relay team of mozzarella, fontina, parmesan, and gorgonzola race across a savory track in the quattro formaggi pizza. The costata di maiale pairs a pan-seared pork chop with vinegar peppers and a balsamic reduction, and in the cioppino's plum-tomato sauce drenches a mélange of sole, shrimp, clams, linguine, and scallops. Burning wall sconces alight Mediterraneo's distressed walls, and potted plants spill over columns and arches to high-five vegetables that made it into signature dishes.
The dough wizards at Papa John's 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.
At Minerva's Pizza, you’ll find many of the time-honored favorites you’d expect at a classic neighborhood pizzeria—gooey pizzas speckled with sausage, meaty calzones, and sauce-drenched wings. But, there are also a few surprises on the menu, including whole-wheat pies and an extensive selection of authentic Lebanese dishes. Guests at this cheerful joint perch at front sidewalk tables, washing back crispy falafels, sizzling gyro wraps, and freshly made pizzas with frosty beers.