After years devising his ideal pizzeria, David Davydd Miller dispensed his first slices in 1984 to patrons in College Station, Texas. Back then Dave recruited the help of a flourmill and cannery to generate customized blends of his crust and sauce formulas. These days, within DoubleDave's Pizzaworks restaurants' 30 Texas and Oklahoma locations, chefs concoct Dave's signature honey whole-wheat crust daily from hand-tossed dough along with batches of sauce made from scratch with Escalon tomatoes. Those ingredients join hand-cut veggies and meats from Tyson and Burke to collectively form a delectable disk that proves once and for all that pie can be divided evenly. Along with half a dozen specialty pizzas, DoubleDave's Pizzaworks appeases palates with signature pepperoni rolls, sandwiches, and Dave's favorite dish, the philly-cheesesteak stromboli.
Luigi's Pizza Italian Restaurant's three founding brothers came from Italy to forge a menu of homemade pastas, pizzas, and Old World entrees. Noodle-laden classics such as lasagna ($6.95) and fettuccine alfredo ($7.95) mingle with freshly washed bibs and dinner specialties that include chicken marsala over spaghetti ($8.95) or shrimp scampi caught in a net of linguini ($11.95). The simple Neapolitan-style cheese pizza ($8.95 for large) struggles with topping envy as it admires the fully loaded, four-sided deep dish Sicilian Special pizza with its black olives, green peppers, and meaty morsels bursting forth from under a blanket of melted cheese ($16.95).
Crooked Crust shares the block with UNT's campus bookstore, tempting students with the aroma of zesty sauce and oven-crisped pizza dough. Although the menu features a diverse spread of signature pies with prearranged topping combinations, it also encourages guests to improvise and design their own pie from scratch. Beginning with a blank canvas of dough and cheese, diners can construct an edible magnum opus with around 20 different meats and vegetables, including pineapple, crispy bacon, and jalapeños, adding each topping to the pizza for free. The dining area includes a handful of tables where guests can share their pies, as well as murals commemorating the invention of the pizza slicer.
The chefs at Italia Cafe make everything on the menu from scratch, including family recipes for Neapolitan-style or deep-dish pizza, pasta, and hot subs. A large Neapolitan cheese pizza ($9.95) sates hearty appetites, and the 16"x16" deep-dish Sicilian Special ($17.95) piles a mountain of meats and veggies onto a square pizza peg that fits comfortably into round pie holes. Diners can open pearly mouth gates for a bite of angel hair pomodoro ($7.95) or look down their noses at the chicken Aristocrat, a chicken breast sautéed with eggplant and mozzarella in a white-wine cream sauce and served with a side of spaghetti ($9.95). Hot philly cheese steak ($7.95) or meatball sub ($5.95) sandwiches keep hands warm, and sweet cannoli ($3.95) ends meal sentences with a decadent exclamation point. The cafe's sleek wood and tile floors rest under plush red and black booths, and Italian-inspired artwork inspires patrons to row invisible gondolas.
Though Hamid Parivash has progressively moved farther and farther away from his native Italy, he refuses to stray from the country’s iconic culinary traditions. In 1987, he opened his first Italian restaurant in Austria with his mother and father before eventually moving the eatery to Spain for four years. He then ventured out even further, jumping the Atlantic Ocean to found a new Don Camillo in Texas. Even with this westward momentum, the menu remains firmly grounded in Old World flavors—fresh buffalo mozzarella, hand-rolled manicotti, and homemade meat and pesto sauces remain staple ingredients on the menu. Chef Parivash even still relies on an old-fashioned wood-burning oven to roast hearty entrees and bake pizzas laden with everything from grilled chicken and red onions to diced pancetta and garlic.
The restaurant’s open kitchen allows diners full-on glimpses of the cooks as they use this brick-encased oven to bake meals to order. With its neutral-toned walls, chandelier-like lighting fixtures, and assorted pieces of artwork, the dining room embraces a classical, understated aesthetic. Leafy green potted plants sit atop the room’s half walls of exposed brickwork, adding a verdant splash of color and replenishing the restaurant’s oxygen supply on a weekly basis.
Many of the 90 hand-selected wines at Josephine's Italian Bistro are from Italy, making them all the more appropriate to pair with regional Italian dishes. Villa Pozzi pinot grigio, for example, crackles with floral notes and acidity crafted by a Sicilian family, allowing it to pair well with lobster ravioli and fried calamari. Fresh herbs and cheese heighten flavors of other dishes made with seasonal fish and meats, hot sausage, tomatoes, and basil. Sun-dried tomatoes, gorgonzola cheese, and pine nuts add to the palette of time-tested Italian ingredients. During Sunday brunches, omelet sizzle in skillets alongside fresh fruit, and a waffle iron cooks dough into crisp treats or maps for checkers.