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.
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.
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 masters of Mediterranean comestible crafting at Victorio's Ristorante construct a menu brimming with freshly prepared Old-World eats to provide a dining experience akin to crashing an Italian family's Sunday dinner. Commence table chatter over an antipasto salad ($6.95 small, $11.95 large), a pre-meal heaping of assorted cold cuts and mozzarella cheese floating atop a ripe divan of iceberg lettuce. For a delicious exhibition of wild eatables in their natural habitat, order the chicken fiorentino and watch as angel-hair pasta wraps serpentine noodles around helpless, succulent morsels of chicken breast and freshly steamed spinach sautéed in garlic and lemon juice ($9.25). Alternately, ravenous herbivores hungry enough to tunnel directly to a neighbor’s garden will revel in the vegetarian lasagna, a traditional dish featuring ricotta cheese, spinach, and feta lying on bunk beds of layered pasta and swathed in an encompassing blanket of marinara sauce and melted mozzarella ($8.75). Feed an entire table of family members or teenage turtles with one of eight available pizzas, including the Victorio's special ($13.20 for 10", $17.70 for 14"), a pie that's been dragged through the meat garden and vegetable factory and served with anchovies upon request. Instead of spiking tableware and performing an elaborate end-zone dance, cap off meals with a slice of homemade tiramisu ($4.95) and a double shot of cappuccino ($3.50).
The black-and-white décor at Prizzi’s pops with red accents, from the modern heat lamps hanging by the kitchen to the cherry-red aprons of the friendly wait staff. White tablecloths bear dishes such as lunch paninis and oven-baked pizzas in thin crust or deep dish. Forks twirl steaming noodles alongside steak and seafood immersed in savory wine sauces. After sipping a brew and noshing fried starters at the smooth wooden bar, patrons can tackle gelato scoops on the outdoor patio to achieve the chilled relaxation that usually accompanies a nap on a living-room sofa carved out of ice.
Garlic Jim's menu was handcrafted with nothing more than a dream and an incredible reserve of pizza-making expertise. Open an order with some gourmet chicken wings, available in barbecue, garlic, and hot, before moving on to pizza territory. Put an end to eating Legos by piecing together a custom pie. Choose from the hand-thrown thick, garlic thin, or gluten-free crusts, slathered in one of seven sauces (from classic red to zesty chipotle pesto), and then slap on any of 15 standard and 11 gourmet toppings (14-inch large pizzas start at $11.99, extra-large $14.99; each additional topping for a large is $1.50). To achieve customization without the stress of having to choose, turn to one of the pre-determined specialties. Meat-maul hunger with the Hercules (salami, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, beef, spicy Italian sausage, and bacon; $18.99 for large, $21.99 for extra-large), or discover the secret of pizza-temperature fusion in your head with Jim's bacon-cheeseburger pizza (beef, bacon, red onions, tomatoes, mozzarella, and cheddar; $18.99 for large, $21.99 for extra-large).