Liberty, Missouri, is slightly out of the delivery zone of most Chicago pizzerias, so when Jason and Mattie Ransom moved there, they needed another way to get their fix of deep-dish pizza. They decided to try their hand at recreating their favorite pie from scratch, unknowingly laying the groundwork for Dish Famous Stuffed Pizza.
The Ransom’s homespun recipe for Chicago-style deep-dish pizza has lasted more than 15 years, first gracing the tables of their restaurant before spreading out to grocery stores and forward-thinking vending machines. At their eatery, they still sling dough each day, complementing deep-dish disks with thin-crust and hand-tossed pies, half-pound Black Angus burgers, Chicago-style italian beef sandwiches, and 50 different bottles of imported and craft beer.
In 1963, Vita and Jay Totta opened up their cozy café with a small counter, three tables, and four booths. Within three years, the couple’s following of loyal diners had overgrown their modest space, and they expanded to a larger location with more than twice the seating capacity of the original café. Another steady increase in popularity led the Tottas to create V's Italiano Ristorante as it stands today, which includes a spacious dining room, three private banquet rooms, a lounge, and an outdoor patio. When designing and building the restaurant in 1971, Jay—a professional architect—focused on creating an Old-World atmosphere where guests could enjoy everything from Sunday brunch to romantic candlelight dinners with their tax auditors. Patrons may also venture out to the restaurant's garden patio, where they'll eat by a stone waterfall and under the vines of a grape arbor originally planted by Vita's father.
As the head chefs and owners of The Boot, Aaron Confessori and Richard Wiles draw on Old World inspiration to craft a menu of simple, fresh Italian fare. Though their hand-made meatballs and house-made pastas evoke the rich flavors of the Tuscan countryside, they strive to gather their ingredients from sources closer to home. Kansas City staple Krizman’s House of Sausage, for example, supplies the restaurant’s italian sausage. If guests can pry their attention away from the seared skirt steaks or Prince Edward Island mussels on their plates, they will notice a dining room lined with exposed brick walls and capped with tin ceiling tiles. Long rows of wood-topped tables add a touch of the rustic to an otherwise contemporary setting, which Aaron and Richard styled after their favorite Italian dining spots. Hanging overhead lights cast a soft glow on the bar, whose tenders shake handcrafted cocktails, pour microbrews, and stage gladiatorial bouts with olive spears.
Family is important at Cascone's Restaurants—Johnny Cascone's in Overland Park and Cascone's in Kansas City, Missouri—a fact illustrated by the portraits adorning their lobby walls and the relatives working side by side in the kitchen and dining room since the first eatery opened four generations ago in 1954. Chef Victor Cascone draws from the family's Sicilian heritage to plate traditional pasta and meat dishes. He also draws inspiration from family members young and old to put a fresh spin on time-tested dishes, as evidenced by nachos made from pasta. That sense of camaraderie spreads to the spacious banquet facilities at both restaurants, making them suitable venues for families gathering for birthday parties, rehearsal dinners, and spaghetti-slurping contests.:
Fun House Pizza’s cooks have been tossing craving-satisfying pizzas since 1964, catering to families with their shareable fare and friendly staff. Gooey pizzas arrive topped with Fun House Pizza’s secret sauce recipe, sprinkled with toppings that include kraut, mushrooms, and Italian or Polish sausage. The kitchen crew gets creative with their specialty pizzas, which play dress up to create pies of the taco, bacon cheeseburger, and mexican variety. The restaurants cater to kids with a slew of entertainment options, from Thomas the Tank Engine rides to game rooms with air hockey and video games to the cheerful servers who are ready and willing to eat homework assignments.