At The Original Primo Pizza & Grill, chefs whirl handmade dough and whole, peeled tomatoes into a variety of thin-crust pizzas. While the menu includes classic standbys such as the hawaiian pizza, customers can also create their own perfect pies from toppings such as garlic, mushrooms, pepperoni, and sausage. What really shines through, however, is the restaurant’s large selection of specialty pies: buffalo-chicken pizza is topped with chicken and zesty buffalo sauce; Nutella pizza with brown and powdered sugar; and the American-style pizza gets topped with steak, peppers, onions, american cheese, and a pervasive dislike of the metric system.
While pizza dominates the menu, diners can also explore traditional Italian entrees, including dinner specialties such as chicken scampi, veal milanese, and spaghetti with clam sauce.
Don't be fooled by the name?Mulberry Street is actually located on Rahway Avenue in Woodbridge. There's nothing else this place is hiding, though, from its flat-screen TVs to its spacious dining room lined with exposed brick. Even if the chefs here wanted to keep their food a secret, they'd find it a difficult task. That's what happens when your menu includes thin-crust pizzas, chicken and shrimp rigatoni, 12-ounce ribeye steaks, and other Italian-American staples done to perfection. An extensive list of wines hailing from Italy, France, California, and around the world complement the feasts, as do coffees spiked with chocolate-flavored liqueur.
The pizza slingers at Papa John's toss each doughy discus by hand, and top their signature sauce with decadent mozzarella, fresh vegetables, and quality meats. Pie Picassos design two pies with up to two toppings each, and can commission a portrait of baby portobello mushrooms and spicy italian sausage posing against a backdrop of chewy crust or forge a blend of three cheeses smattered with crispy bacon. Tongues tiring of pizza's circular logic can take between-bite breaks with a side of breadsticks or parmesan-garlic breadsticks. A splashy two-liter beverage keeps taste buds on their toes. Order online to arrange a pickup or delivery, or visit a Papa John's location to dine right where the cheese sticks are harvested.
The artful chefs at Fratelli toss and serve classic Italian cuisine alongside generously topped brick-oven pizzas. Appetizers such as red or white mussels ($9.95) or stuffed mushrooms ($6.95) ready incisors to take on more substantial spoonfuls and slices. The expansive menu enflames widening pupils and stomachs with all-day entrees, including the veal spiedini—stuffed with salami and provolone and bathed in a white wine sauce ($16.95)—and the oven-baked capricciosa pizza—bedecked with italian ham, artichokes, and hot salami jockeying for space on a 12-inch disk of crisp thin crust ($14). Seafood selections such as zuppa di clams ($15.95) or shrimp parmigiana ($15.95) warrant bottles of imported and domestic beer ($3.50–$4), house wine ($5 per glass), and water that's as free as a pardoned jailbird.
At Luigi's Pizza & Restaurant, the chefs make sure their ingredients don?t have to travel far from field to plate. They cull all their produce from local farmers?from the spinach tossed atop New York?style pizzas to the fire-roasted peppers that tuck into paninis and wraps. This attention to quality goes throughout their extensive menu that boasts more than 100 options, which would have made for a light appetizer for King Henry VIII. They serve whole pies and pizza-by-the-slice, whose flavor combinations range from the traditional?margherita and Meat Lovers' pizzas?to the more avant garde?the buffalo chicken pizza and the Vodka Pie with fresh mozzarella and vodka sauce. Beyond pizza, the chefs bake classic Italian entrees, such as chicken marsala and eggplant parmigiana, and pasta dishes including tortellini dressed in a bacon alfredo sauce and shrimp scampi.
Pasquale’s Ristorante Italiano crafts house-made pastas, entrees, and decadent desserts for an elegant, old-world menu of Italian favorites. A clutch of pan-seared scallops and shrimp spill over an umami-laden porcini risotto ($20.95) like a gift from a mermaid secret admirer left on the shore, and boneless short ribs with a port-wine glaze recline on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes ($20.95). Light-as-air gnocchi hopscotch through bolognese sauce studded with mascarpone cheese squares ($13.95). A slice of Nonna’s cheesecake, finished with raspberry puree, puts a ricotta exclamation point at the end of savory meals. Homey floral arrangements and warm, golden walls meet sleek booths and a streamlined full bar in Pasquale's dining room, suiting moods ranging from casual to extravagant. Reservations are recommended.