Chicken alfredo, shrimp scampi, eggplant parmesan. More than 30 housemade pasta dishes emerge from the kitchen every night at Piccolo Trattoria of Newtown. Chefs scatter pistachio nuts and goat cheese into fettuccine, smother penne with baby shrimp and pesto cream sauce, and cover fusilli with oyster and shiitake mushrooms.
Earlier in the day, however, these recipes take on a different form: they become pizzas. During lunch, chefs whip up more than 20 gourmet pies, crowning them with classic pasta ingredients alongside non-Italian flavors such as taco and cheesesteak fixings. Besides tossing noodles and flinging dough, the BYOB eatery's chefs cook salmon in a port wine reduction and sauté veal with figs and mushrooms in a cognac cream sauce.
Using original family recipes that have been passed down through four generations, Cafe Europa’s sauce slingers make handcrafted thick sicilian and crispy brick-oven pizzas to create an authentic Italian vibe. Gourmet pizza toppings include shrimp, chopped clams, and rigatoni, and thinly sliced prosciutto and meatball parmigiana headline the café’s sandwich menu. To feed hungry late-night customers and ghosts who can’t sleep, the restaurant stays open until midnight seven days a week.
After successfully preparing 12 grilled quail for a prince, one commands a certain amount of respect in the culinary trade. This was, in fact, part of Alex Cormier’s daily duties as personal chef to prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia, a gig he held during the prince's visit to the United States. Perhaps even more impressive than his part-time brush with royalty, Cormier once stood at the helm of his own restaurant, Alex on South, where his reputation for artful, elegant French fare took off and his culinary star shone brighter than ever over the Atlantic seaboard.
After closing his restaurant and completing stints in various other four-star kitchens, Cormier journeyed to Rick's, which had already achieved local fame for its standout Italian fare. In his temporary role as executive chef, Cormier saw a reflection of himself in the restaurant’s base menu of Italian favorites, and it was not long before he took over in a permanent role. Today, he continues the tradition of fine Italian cuisine that has kept Rick’s on the map for more than a decade, occasionally drawing on his own experiences to pepper the menu with European and Asian influences or dazzle his fellow chefs with onion-ring volcanoes.
Guido Barone simmered the first pot of pasta at Villa Rosa Ristorante 30 years ago. Since then, three generations of his family have whipped up Italian dishes in the restaurant's kitchen, from classics like eggplant parmigiana to more contemporary selections such as truffle mac 'n' cheese. Now in their 30th year in business, the family continues to serve their pasta, risotto, and seafood specialties in an elegant dining room with exposed brick walls and a vivid mural of the Italian coast. Supplying patrons with entertainment as well as good food, the BYOB eatery hosts special events throughout the month, including live music performances, Tapas Tuesdays, and adventurous wild-game tastings.
Brothers Luis and Johnson Rivas teamed up to create a menu of signature seafood entrees and Italian dishes anchored with homemade pastas. They saute shitake mushrooms with a homemade flat pasta before tossing parmigiano romano cheese with fresh tomatoes, basil, and garlic olive oil to create the Papardella alla Romana, They also pour blush-colored brandy cream sauce over lobster ravioli. Shrimp scampi, a variety of veal dishes, and desserts round out the menu. The cozy eatery features brick-lined doorways and linen-topped tables that combine rustic and sophisticated details, just like Paul Bunyan wearing a monocle.