When designing Toscana Greenwich, owner Paul W. Ardaji was meticulous in recreating the spirit of renaissance Florence. The walls are decked with vibrant paintings depicting the landmark era’s culture, and food is cooked in a wood-burning oven. Voted the Best Italian Restaurant of Greenwich 2012 by The Best of Fairfield County Living, the menu brims with Tuscan specialties and house originals alike, such as the house pizza topped with crème fraîche, smoked salmon, Italian caviar, and jalapeño. High-backed booths or elegantly appointed tables set the stage for dining on these delectables, and a vibrant ring of glowing red wine bottles-turned-light fixtures hang above the front of the restaurant to contrast the classic yellow light emanating from the dining area’s sconces and rustic saucer-like fixtures.
Being a native of Italy, chef Enzo Roppo knows his way around the key ingredients that earned his country’s cuisine its international renown. At Bella Nonna Restaurant and Pizzeria, Roppo puts this knowledge to work, creating a wide range of traditional dishes and homemade desserts. After a successful 15-year stint at its first location, the restaurant now welcomes hungry crowds at its new digs on Railroad Ave. There, co-owners Tony Crudele and Joe Sandolo have re-created the warm, welcoming vibe of a family dining room, complete with regulars gathering over bowls of steaming pasta, crisp pizzas, and glasses of wine.
A practicing psychic for more than 20 years, Janet Lee uses her spiritual attunement as a tool for guiding clients. Through tarot-card and psychic readings, Janet peeks through time to mine out answers to personal problems and correct paths. Through the meditative power of past-life regressions, she seeks out unresolved issues that can cause present turmoil, such as when your Egyptian ancestor got stood up for pyramid prom.
Baby lobster tails, calamari, mussels, and clams bask in the light marinara sauce of Pasquale Ristorante’s seafood soup. The menu’s gourmet proteins don’t all originate in the ocean, though: plates also come adorned with custom-grilled steaks, breaded veal cutlets, and chicken sautéed in a delicate lemon white-wine sauce. Pasta dishes include housemade gnocchi and lasagna, both ensconced in hearty meat sauces. Alternatively, diners can opt for pizzas with toppings such as chopped clams, ricotta, and arugula arranged over ultra-thin crusts.
The big draw at JT Straw’s Bar & Grill is the wood-fired brick oven, which crisps the edges of pizzas day and night. Housemade meatballs, smoked mozzarella, and sliced rib eye steak all sink into sauce before pies emerge from the oven ready to be gobbled down or used as a bargaining tool in divorce court. Aside from the pizza, JT Straw's also doles out draft brews, burgers, salads, and wings doused in more than 60 sauces, including spicy mexican, mango chipotle barbecue, and garlic sesame.
Ferraro’s multifaceted menu meanders from classic pizza offerings to traditional pasta dishes and ends face down in a fully loaded line-up of italian heroes. Gnocchi bolognese ($9.50 small, $12.50 large) tempts diners with handmade memory foam pillows of potato pasta, while the chicken scarpara showcases a saucy soirée of chicken, sausage, and hot cherry peppers ($14.50). A side of pasta, a small salad, and a stern home economics teacher chaperone each entree. Lunchers can commandeer pizza by the slice ($2.35–$3.25), such at the Grandma Pizza, a thin and crispy Sicilian-style square crust loaded with plum tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and a sprinkling of garlic ($3.25 per slice or $16.99 for a pie). Chivalrously delicious heroes include the Ferraro Special, a vodka-sauce-drizzled, golden-haloed chicken cutlet bedecked in melted mozzarella and prosciutto ($8.99).