Continuing the Italian tradition of pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice), Pizzeria Venti offers a handful of oven-baked pies teeming with trans-fat-free toppings (except for naturally occurring trans fats in dairy). Like a self-rising theater, Pizzeria Venti's homespun crust acts as a stage for more than 20 pizza performances, such as italian sausage, seasoned with fennel, fresh basil, and herbs ($3.25/slice) or chicken vesuvio, which erupts with roasted breast of chicken, mushrooms, black olives, and garlic ($4/slice). Though pizza prevails as the main attraction, the menu also marches through baked pastas ($7.50+), salads ($6.50+), and seasonal soups ($4.25) to create a culinary lineup that is more well-rounded than a reconstructed Humpty Dumpty.
From Mexico to Dubai, all Flippin Pizza locations share at least one thing: every 18-inch pie starts as a carefully kneaded ball of dough that cooks hand-toss until it forms a perfectly thin, airy disc. Several specialty pizzas take their names from New York City boroughs to symbolize their traditional thin-crust approach, and they arrive topped with everything from meatballs and fresh garlic to buffalo chicken. Pesto or blue-cheese dressing replace red sauce on a selection of white pies, and hearty calzones and salads are, like a pi?ata at a nutritionist's birthday party, stuffed with colorful veggies.
Faccia Luna Pizzeria is the kind of a place where you're just as likely to spot cozy couples splitting pasta dishes à la Lady and the Tramp as groups of friends clicking wine glasses over shared pizzas. The pies at this trio of urban trattorias bake in wood- or gas-fired ovens manned by chefs who have earned their whites at the Culinary Institute of America. Across three locations in Virginia and Pennsylvania, the kitchen crew also prepares casual Italian eats such as salads and grinder sandwiches served in an upscale bistro atmosphere.
It's rare to hear the words "gourmet" and "kid-friendly" in the same sentence, but that is exactly what Pie-tanza strives to be. Indeed, adults and kids can both enjoy the novelty of sitting at the counter that surrounds Ed McKee and Karen Waltman's open kitchen and watching as chefs hand-stretch Neapolitan-style dough, slather it with chunky tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella, and slide it into the 600-degree wood-burning oven. It's the oven that makes these pizzas so authentic, producing the crispy, chewy, bubbly thin crust that is the hallmark of a true Neapolitan-style pie. Familiar enough for younger diners, the pies can also be made a little more refined, thanks to grownup-friendly gourmet toppings such as rosemary chicken and fresh basil, or tri-colored peppers and kalamata olives. The restaurant’s other authentic Italian eats include hearty baked pastas and sandwiches, which feature hot toasted sub rolls or fine leather wallets stuffed with slow-cooked meatballs, roast turkey, or prime rib and cheddar cheese. Of course, no Italian meal would be complete without dessert, so diners should save room for mini chocolate-dipped cannoli or a java-chip brownie sundae topped with crushed dark-chocolate-covered espresso beans.
There's something unmistakably Italian about Toscana Grill. Maybe it's the white marble and ebony wood accents in the dining room, or maybe it's the hospitality with which the servers greet each guest. In all likelihood, it's probably both of these things?plus a menu of northern Italian dishes crafted with local produce and herbs.
All of the traditional favorites are here, including eggplant parmigiana, spinach ravioli alfredo, and chicken marsala with mushrooms. But it's not all classics. There are also plenty of genre-bending pizzas, such as one topped with shrimp, white-wine sauce, butter, and garlic. A bottle of wine from the bar makes a perfect companion to any meal, especially if you dress it up like a person and pretend that it can talk.
Born to Italian immigrants and raised in New York City, Vincent Tramonte never wanted for Italian food during his youth. But a move to Northern Virginia to practice law more or less cut off his access to authentic Italian fare and, he soon realized, he wasn’t the only transplant who felt this way. To fix the problem, he and his family opened The Italian Store in 1980, curating a selection of products—wines, pasta, cheeses, meats, wines, wax to shine your gondola—from suppliers in Italy or New York. These ingredients fold into the shop’s selection of prepared foods. Their subs, salads, pasta dishes, and pizzas can be purchased solo or in bulk for large parties.