Waves of heat radiate from an open oven door as a chef pulls out a Sicilian pizza baked to a golden finish, then slides in a fresh crust topped with eggplant, roasted peppers, and house-made mozzarella cheese. Other chefs prep for the dinner rush, cutting up homemade rigatoni noodles to later douse with a tomato or beef bolognese cream sauce. Classic Italian dishes can be prepared family style, in which heaps of pasta are divided among siblings according to their age or skill at dogsled racing. Emilio’s catering service also brings platters of pasta, salad, and sandwiches to parties of all sizes.
Frying, slicing, and sautéing a bevy of authentic Italian favorites, pizzas, and seafood, Nick's Pizza and Clam Bar sates stomachs with savory sandwiches and platefuls of pasta. Prime palates with fried clam baskets ($8.95) and jumbo homemade crab cakes ($10.95), then pick from linguine, penne, or bow-tie noodles to pair with the seafood marinara awash with shrimp, calamari, scallops, mussels, and clams ($19.95). Divers in search of deep-blue edibles will delight over a two-pound lobster dinner, which partners freshly boiled pinchers with drawn butter and corn on the cob (market price).
The chefs at Zaro's Café import the Mediterranean flavors of Greece and Italy onto plates brimming with Old World flavor. After perusing the extensive menu, dish archaeologists can excavate the Greek moussaka's layers of eggplant, potato, and ground beef doused in a béchamel sauce ($15.50), or an assortment of pastas that includes penne salmon, tossed with asparagus drenched in a roasted-pepper pink sauce ($15.95). Five models of tzatziki-topped gyros putt-putt toward mouths, from traditional to a hot, whole-wheat vegetarian gyro, stuffed with grilled asparagus, zucchini, white onion, and lettuce ($9.25). Neapolitan and square Sicilian pizza pies are available whole or by the slice, and calzones, rolls, and stromboli transport dough-wrapped flavor to mouths directly from the Boot. Or stamp culinary passports with Italian entrees, with classic options including veal marsala—veal medallions as tender as constructive criticism—sautéed with marsala wine and fresh mushrooms ($18.95).
The Massa family can trace its roots back to two New York pizza legends—both of whom are named Patsy. One, Patsy Grimaldi, founded the famous Grimaldi's in Brooklyn. The other, Patsy Lancieri, was responsible for Patsy's of East Harlem. Given these connections, it's no surprise that the Massas have a knack for the pizza business. They've been serving their signature pies since 1933, and today, they bake each of them inside a coal-fueled oven at temperatures upwards of 900 degrees.
Atop regular, whole-wheat, or gluten-free dough, chefs add toppings such as meatballs and arugula. They also assemble a handful of specialty pizzas, crowned with everything from caramelized onions to whole chopped clams. Items like eggplant parmesan and pepperoni chips round out the menu, complemented by wine, beer, and after-dinner cappuccinos.
For more than 50 years, Albert's Pizza's chefs have been prepping pies a little differently: they layer the cheese beneath the sauce, where it melts and merges with the crust. That crust is housemade each day, forming entire pies as well as square slices for purchase. You can customize your pizza or go with a gourmet option, many of which come with toppings that evoke Italian dishes. For example, there's a baked-ziti pizza, a fettucine-alfredo pizza, and a lasagna pizza along with classic meat lovers' and hawaiian variants.
The menu also features sandwiches, calzones, pasta dinners, and sliders, small versions of sandwiches served in 3- or 6-packs. None of Albert's extra food in the kitchen goes to waste—the staff donates the surplus to Island Harvest, an organization dedicated to hunger-relief efforts throughout Long Island.
Singas Pizza's chefs calm restless appetites by singing sauce-speckled lullabies from a menu of pizzas, pillowy pastas, sandwiches, wings, and burgers. Tuck teeth into 360 degrees of gustatory bliss with one of Singas's 10-inch pies, crowned with toppings that range from traditional pepperoni or sausage ($5.99) to less-orthodox accents including breaded eggplant ($6.99), buffalo chicken ($6.99), and anti-cheese. Singas's heaping bowls of spaghetti come in seven varieties ($5.49+), warming stomachs with a swirling array of old-world flavors with toppings including sweet italian sausage, creamy garlic sauce, and mushrooms. Palates pining for bread-ensconced eats can opt for a hot pastrami sandwich ($6.49), which smuggles sizzling meat, onions, and green peppers under a veil of melted provolone cheese.