Sam's New York Pizza tantalizes taste buds with pizzas, cheesy baked pastas, and piping-hot subs alongside satisfying pub dishes of wings and pepperoni rolls. The chefs pride themselves on creating homestyle Italian cuisine that includes savory dishes of eggplant and chicken parmesan and thick-crust Sicilian pizzas. For kids’ birthday parties, they’ll even arrange toppings on pizza to look like SpongeBob’s or Herbert Hoover’s face.
After moving from Greece in 1950, the six Fotopoulos brothers turned their hard-won earnings into the first of 12 ABC Pizza locations in 1966. From its humble beginnings in Connecticut, the chain grew to serve central Floridians and vacationing time travelers a menu of build-your-own pizzas topped with gourmet ingredients such as crab, feta, and shrimp, as well as preconceptualized specialty pies festooned with meats, seafood, and Mediterranean morsels. Hearty grinders and Italian pasta dishes share menu real estate with Greek delicacies including gyros, spinach pies, and grape leaves stuffed with shredded pages of Plato's Republic.
Helmed by husband and wife team Elke and Anthony Catania, this friendly, cozy eatery boasts indoor and outdoor seating areas, fresh homemade fare, and an ever-changing bill of fare ideal for busy or easily bored taste sensors. Grab a ready-made feast or enjoy the rotating dine-in menu, both of which star tantalizing courses crafted from scratch each day. Face dive into treats ranging from savory soups and crisp salads ($3.50–$10) to handcrafted sandwiches ($6.95–$7.95) and hearty dinners served with two sides and a neutral mediator ($10.95–$16.95). Vegetarian and carnivorous options abound, and decadent desserts ($4–$6.99) range from classic New York–style cheesecakes to ecstatic éclairs. Specials change weekly, unlike calendar pages and the facial expressions on Mount Rushmore, which shift hourly.
Chefs slather linguine noodles with house-made pesto sauce, toss salmon filets atop the grill, and simmer veal scaloppini in a white wine and lemon sauce in the kitchen at Da Giuseppe Ristorante & Bar. Out in the dining room, exposed red rafters and tangerine walls surround linen-topped tables populated with towering plates of pasta and traditional Italian desserts built from scratch.
Chefs at La Casa Della Pasta embellish pastas, gnocchi, and desserts made in-house with handfuls of imported Italian ingredients, including eggplant and mozzarella. As owner Enrique Tangari told the Tampa Bay Times in 2011, "I import everything, flour, water, tomatoes, cheeses … to make any kind of pasta dish you want, on the menu or not." His commitment to imported flavor also extends to the restaurant's drink menu, which features wines made from such traditional Italian varietals as pinot grigio, sangiovese, and nebbiolo, as well as beers with suspiciously small amounts of fermented grape juice.
Bill Sioutis founded the first Gondolier location in Cleveland, Tennessee, in 1974 as a place for families to gather and enjoy a rich menu of Italian and Greek specialties. Decades later, the traditional and white pizzas still use homemade dough made fresh daily and come covered with tasty toppings, such as barbecue chicken, eggplant, and artichoke. That same dough puffs up to form calzones stuffed with mozzarella, ricotta, and various toppings. Ovens bubble cheese over baked pasta dishes ranging from lasagna and ravioli to spaghetti, and Hellenic recipes rear their heads in the form of gyros, chicken souvlaki, and greek bruschetta, a blend of tomatoes, feta, kalamata olives, and drachmas.