The chefs at Georges Cucina Italiana channel Old World culinary traditions to craft a menu of zesty Italian specialties. Fill fists with hot meatball subs ($7.60) or twirl fork tines around penne marinara ($8.99), which arrives with a side of garlic bread for sopping up sauces and water splashed by proximate gondoliers. Angel hair pomodoro ($14.99) can be dressed with either shrimp or chicken, and stuffed shells ($9.99) cradle hidden packages of marinara. Chefs weigh down hand-tossed dough with fresh-made mozzarella to craft specialty pizzas and prevent light, airy crusts from floating away on the breeze.
The specialty pizzas at Pizza Pie Eatery break the mold. While diners will find familiar staples such as the Hawaiian pizza or BBQ chicken pizza, they might be surprised by some of the other options. The Greek pizza floods the palate with Mediterranean flavors, culled from feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, and the Mexican pizza draws together mozzarella and cheddar along with jalapenos and meatballs. Diners also choose from fresh-made sandwiches as well as traditional pasta dishes and gluten-free fare.
Sipan Bakery and Cafe's cooks stuff pita bread with falafel balls, hummus, and authentic Lebanese spices and fill crispy boerek pastry crusts with potatoes, meat, and feta cheese. After meals, customers can sweeten palates with baklava morsels and fashion radio-antenna helmets from leftover scraps of tinfoil.
Gennaro?s Ristorante has managed to stay open for nearly 30 years not only because of its menu of Italian pastas and grilled meats, but also because of its dedication to Italian-style hospitality. When guests first enter the eatery, they head to the sitting room?a cozy area with marble flooring where they can sit beside a roaring fire and sip Italian wines and creative cocktails from the bar.
They then head into the dining room for a night of devouring meticulously prepared entrees, such as pork medallions with a green-peppercorn-and-cognac sauce, or tagliolini pasta with squid, shrimp, and mussels. The inclusive restaurant caters to all types, offering a vegan menu and gluten-free options. While patrons eat, performers soothe the ears with classical piano or guitar music or gentle earlobe rubs.
Intent on capturing as many farm-fresh flavors as possible, The Wooden Fork indulges patrons with a healthful menu of casual, caf?-style meals made with fresh, nourishing ingredients. The breakfast selection of wraps, omelets, and fresh toast competes for visitors' attention with a variety of lunch options, which includes creative salads as well as sandwiches topped with everything from oven-roasted turkey, brie, and granny smith apples to eggplant caviar, fresh buffalo mozzarella, and pesto. To accompany these hearty meals, the staff members also spend their days blending juices and smoothies using an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Wooden Fork's decor mirrors the eatery's casual vibe by featuring a variety of rustic and modern elements. Mismatched chairs surrounding stout wooden tables, chandelier-like light fixtures, and giant chalkboards on the wall all combine to lend a distinctively homespun vibe to the space. At the same time, the dining area includes a handful of modern touches?meticulously placed wall tiles create the appearance of exposed brickwork, and the staff cools baked goods in the glass display case by regularly shooting them with a freeze ray. This inviting ambiance finds even more reinforcement in the live music, book readings, and cooking classes that regularly occur.
Like its grownup sister location—Polentoni—Piccolo Polentoni offers refined versions of Old World Italian cuisine. The chefs keep the flavors familiar by importing prosciutto from Italy, hand-rolling meatballs, and making every strand of fettuccine in-house. Likewise, pizzas feature classic toppings such as basil, grilled vegetables, and pepperoni tinged with red chili pepper. Some dishes, such as polenta in meaty bolognese sauce, are a tad more complex, combining northern and southern Italian influences onto one plate. The wine list shows a similar appreciation for Italy's culinary imports and features bottles from Piemonte and Puglia.
An ascending ribbon of exposed brickwork runs along one dining room wall to the next, providing a rustic touch in the softly lit space. Metallic sconces adorn the walls beside each booth, which surround tables lit by flickering candles.