Drivers leaving Famous Pizza Express wait for their cars to fill with aromatic steam that hints at the contents of warm boxes. The vapors suggest pastas, calzones, and pizzas crowned with toppings including breaded chicken, meatballs, broccoli, and fresh garlic. Massive trays of chicken parmigiana and gnocchi are ideal for feeding partygoers or convincing an IRS auditor that you really do have 11 dependent Italian grandmothers.
Since 1958, this Zagat-rated restaurant has plated authentic Italian cuisine handcrafted from the freshest ingredients in Chef Salvatore Cucullo’s kitchen. Open for lunch and dinner, the 50-seat eatery’s specialties range from spicy seafood dishes made with generations-old family recipes to saucy pastas and comforting chicken and veal entrees. Wines culled from across the globe lend meals an international flair and boast subtle notes of jet lag, and Fratelli’s catering services help satisfy packs of peckish minglers.
Replicating the boisterous atmosphere and hearty repasts of traditional Italian hearths, Patricia's of Tremont piles plates with familial favorites from the pages of the multifaceted menu. Patricia's dough decathletes pound out a personalized dinner discus from an array of pizza possibilities, with entries including the Patricia, an eponymous, olive and asparagus-laden pie ($9.75–$18), gas-cooked or wood-fired to diner specifications.
In 1909, Frank Pepe immigrated to the United States from his native town of Maiori, Italy. He was poor, illiterate, and just 16 years old—but he had a strong work ethic. After a stint in a New Haven factory and service as an Italian solider in World War I, he settled down for good in New Haven with his wife, Filomena, and started a bakery delivery service. But because he couldn’t read, he had trouble deciphering the orders. So he started having his customers come to him, and in 1925, he and Filomena added a simple item to the menu: Neapolitan-style pizzas.
To this day, the staff still heats up coal-fired ovens to bake the original tomato pies that Frank and Filomena first made famous. They can also add toppings such as bacon, Italian-imported anchovies, and house-roasted red peppers to their pizzas, or create specialty pies such as their signature white clam with olive oil, fresh garlic, and oregano. Diners can pair their pies with Pepe’s salad, tossed in balsamic vinaigrette, or have the server tap draft brews such as Sam Adams Boston Lager and Peroni. They’ve served Foxon Park soda since 1925, so diners can request bottles of cream soda or diet white-birch beer made from only the sveltest birch trees.