While growing up in Reggio di Calabria, Italy, Paolo Siciliano acquired a passion for traditional southern Italian food from his mother, Maria, who cooked for his family every day. After moving to the United States, Siciliano pursued his dreams of serving fresh pastas baked with mozzarella cheeses, opening his first restaurant in 1981.
The restaurant has always been a family business, with all nine of the Siciliano children working at the restaurant at points in its history. Today, Paolo's son Brian serves as a chef, adding his own twist to the family recipes as his crew bakes pans of the restaurant's complimentary buttery garlic rolls alongside their housemade lasagna. After spending 21 years under the same roof, baking manicotti and preparing fresh dough, Paolo and his wife Fran decided to upgrade to a new location, where Roman-style columns flank booths, and vivid paintings depict gondoliers reaching out through the frame to grab diners' plates of tiramisu.
In 1969, Colonel Eure opened the first Mr. Gatti's Pizza in Austin. The small pizza shop?which received its moniker from his wife?s maiden name?focused on handcrafting pies using real cheese, yeast-risen dough, and a signature tangy sauce. Today, more than 40 years later, the Mr. Gatti?s Pizza has expanded into 140+ locations across 13 states. But despite the brand?s growth, its mission to make quality eats remains the same.
At one of Mr. Gatti?s appetizing outposts, patrons can build-their-own pie with fresh toppings, or select favorite pizzas such as the bacon double cheeseburger loaded with smoked provolone, beef, and bacon. Sides including four-cheese breadsticks and spicy chicken wings round out plates, and dessert pizzas topped with apples and streusel offer a sweet end to a savory meal. The restaurants also provide hot and cold buffet bars, allowing guests to sample every item on the menu without having to sneak into the kitchen.
With parents hailing from Sicily and Naples, Anthony Russo enjoyed an Italian upbringing. By age 12, he spent much of his time in the kitchen, learning to prepare Old World recipes with his family and family friends. And from the flurry of Italian phrases and conversation, one quote of his father's stuck with him most: "If you can't make it fresh, don't serve it!"
Several decades later, Anthony has hand-tossed his own Italian restaurant franchise and, true to his father's words, employs fresh ingredients in the same family recipes that were passed down to him. Amid exposed brick and walls the warm hue of marinara, skilled chefs craft New York?style brick-oven pizzas with toppings such as spinach, sundried tomatoes, and eggs. Servers stand ready to answer questions about the restaurant?s wine lists, letting guests know which wines pair best with the pizzotto sandwich or whether pinot noir can really turn dogs invisible.
At Aboca's Italian Grill, the cuisine is as artfully prepared as the paintings on the wall and the flower arrangements on the tables. The cylindrical noodles of the baked penne come blanketed with a square of mozzarella cheese, while the pasta primavera bursts with morsels of color: forest green broccoli, bright yellow squash, and flame-red tomatoes. For drinks, the restaurant invites its patrons to bring their own wine, even offering to uncork bottles for a small fee so diners can leave their jackhammers at home.
The family behind Broadway Pizza and Pasta has been baking New York-style pies since 1985. Fresh ingredients are the foundation of the restaurant's Italian-American eats, adding robust flavor to the house's pastas and homemade marinara. Signature dishes include the lasagna calzone, with three cheeses and homemade meat sauce, and the white spinach pizza, a sauceless pie with two cheeses and fresh spinach, tomatoes, and garlic. A BYOB policy encourages diners to linger over their meals, and a 4 p.m. opening time on weeknights discourages early birds from becoming even earlier birds.
For everyone’s entertainment there are Ferrari Bumper Cars, A Pirate Ship, Roller Coaster, Animaland and a large Soft Play area with tubes tunnels and slides and a variety of token operated skill games. Planet Pizza is a great place to visit any time and provides good food and fun in a safe and clean environment.