At A'Tavola Ristorante, Chef George Fusco draws on his 20 years of experience to prepare a menu of elegant Italian entrees from scratch in an open kitchen. He and his kitchen staff top linguine with littleneck clams and fra-diavolo sauce and souse veal milanese in sherry vinaigrette and a balsamic-reduction sauce. For dessert, they whip up freshly filled cannolis, sugar-speckled crème brûlées, and new york–style cheesecakes, whose crusts are perpetually under construction.
A few hours before Mamma Mia Pizzeria opens for the day, the chefs turn on the ovens and begin to prepare their pizzas, scattering dough with specialty toppings like fresh mozzarella, grilled chicken, and homemade tomato garlic sauce. They arrange the colorful pies along the pristine front counter, alongside bowls of freshly baked garlic-bread knots and baskets of the crusty baguettes they slice up for Boar's Head meat subs. The pizzeria fare soon makes its way out to diners relaxing in an area with colorful pennants and sports photographs adorning the walls.
Renovated to accommodate more than 50 eaters since its grand opening in 1985, Dusal's Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria teleports palates to the bustling eateries of Italy with staples including pizza, pasta, and seafood. Exposed brick outlines painted stone archways that soar over Tuscan-inspired portraits of rolling countryside and Italy's legendary pepperoni orchards. Friendly servers dart expertly between clans seated at wooden tables with popular pizzas crafted from age-old recipes, such as the buffalo chicken and personal pies, hoisted aloft.
Whether swirling sauce across a hand-tossed pie or assembling hot subs, the staff of Pyro Pizza take care to use fresh ingredients. Mixing, rolling, and tossing dough fresh daily, they scatter pizzas with mozzarella, sauces such as tomato and pesto, and toppings arranged into hilarious equations. The kitchen also preps giant salads, saucy pastas, and golden-brown calzones.
You wouldn't exactly be wrong in calling the plates at Tottenville Tavern bar food, but there's more to the menu of burgers, fried snacks, and bar pies than first meets the eye. For instance, the fries are hand-cut, the pizzas are topped with clam or buffalo sauce, and the eggrolls are stuffed with the contents of an entire reuben sandwich. You can get the classics more or less straight-up, too. The house-made corned beef inside the eggrolls is also the star of its own sandwich, joining a slate of double-handers such as chipotle-barbecue pulled pork (called "outstanding" by the Staten Island Advance) and a half-dozen steak burgers. Guests can pair a thin-crust bar pie with one of several microbrews, available in bottles or served from eight draft selections, creating America's favorite combination after ketchup and everything.
The clientele is as diverse as the crowd-pleasing menu would suggest. A kids' menu and a tolerance for the word "why?" makes family gatherings easy, and occasional live music ranges from rock to harmonically precise covers of Hank Williams and the Louvin Brothers.