Each pasta entree at Caprino's Restaurant begins as a mound of fresh dough. From there, chefs turn it into linguine and spaghetti and tuck butternut squash into ravioli pockets. The stuff that goes on top is also house-made, naturally: meatballs, garlic-basil cream, olive-oil/chardonnay sauce.
Pasta may reign supreme, but the menu also holds other hearty entrees, including grilled-to-order rib eye, prosciutto pizza, and chicken marsala. Sunday brunch even departs from this Italian template a bit, adding southwest-inspired dishes and catfish and grits to red-white-and-green-flecked sandwiches and scrambles.
Caprino's handsome, wood-accented dining room is equally welcoming to adults and adults-in-training. There's a full bar and, naturally, a deep wine list, split about evenly between Italy and California. But there's also a kids' menu with fun options such as mini burgers and a "dirty mashed potato" topped with bacon, cheese, and, eventually, tiny fingerprints.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
Pizzas typically come in smalls, mediums, and larges. The culinary team at Five Star Pizza thought this was a pretty limiting roster, so they decided to pad the traditional lineup at both ends with 7-inch minis and 18-inch giants. These wide-ranging crusts serve as the doughy foundations for a tensome of specialty pizzas that includes a vegetarian pie, a garlic-chicken pie, and the Maui Chicken Luau pie, which hoists pineapple, barbecue sauce, and bacon. Guests can also ornament each pie as they see fit, choosing from more than 20 toppings such as artichoke hearts and louisiana hot sausage. Chefs round out Five Star Pizza’s menu with fried zucchini, double cheeseburgers, and oven-baked hot pastrami sandwiches.
Pasquale's West Coast Pizzeria delights its guests with a smorgasbord of pizzas. Chefs prepare each one with an original, skinny, or pan crust, and offer the option of creating your own pie or choosing a specialty. The Maui Gourmet pizza, for example, comes loaded with bacon, pineapple, ham, roma tomatoes, onions, and sweet chili sauce.
Hearty baked pastas and cold and toasted deli subs are available as well. To cheese-stuffed ravioli or ham and turkey heroes, diners might add crispy, golden-brown garlic bread and some draft beer. Moreover, philanthropic patrons can gather at Pasquale's for fundraisers, with the pizzeria donating 25% of the proceeds and reserving the last slice of pie for any nonprofit.
Vienna Pizzaria, previously known as The Pizza Guys, extinguishes hunger with customizable pies that headline a full menu of fresh, casual Italian and American fare. Dough molders draw from an arsenal of 38 classic and exotic toppings⎯including everything from clams and boiled eggs to corn and hearts of palm⎯to festoon 16-inch large pizzas. Guests may also take the old-fashioned route with tried-and-true embellishments such as pepperoni and mushrooms, creating a meal as traditional as an edible Norman Rockwell painting. Additionally, house salads squash vegetable cravings with a flurry of ingredients, including kidney beans, cucumbers, and black olives.
Patxi's Chicago Pizza is a Best Pizza of the Bay Area establishment that caters to indulgent pizza partiers and intimate diners alike. Printed on resilient pizza dough, Patxi's menu features a build-your-own arsenal of toppings, such as feta cheese, green bell peppers, Italian sausage, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, salami, zucchini, soy cheese, and much more, available atop Chicago–style crusts ($14.45 for a 10" before toppings) and thin crusts ($9.95 for a 10" before toppings).