The Rocco boys' love for pizza started in the Bronx, where they worked at their father’s pizzerias from a young age. Now, brothers Joe, Mike, and Frank are continuing their family's tradition at 10 locations of their own invention—all flaunting the Planet Pizza name tag.
A man can't build such a pizza universe without some serious pies. But inspiration isn't a problem for the Planet Pizza culinary team, who've molded more than 30 toppings into about 25 specialty circles, all available on gluten-free and whole-wheat crusts. In addition to specialty pizzas, the cooks concoct other menu choices such the compo salad with baby field greens, grape tomatoes, candied walnuts, gorgonzola, and dried cranberries or the buffalo chicken wrap loaded with strips of crispy chicken, lettuce, tomato, spicy wing sauce, and chunky blue cheese dressing are more convincing than Pluto as a mature planet.
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.
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.
For more than 50 years, Atlantic Pizza’s chefs have painted pastas and pie crusts red with rich marinara and meat sauce. Pizzas can be made atop classic or whole-wheat dough and then further customized with selections from more than 30 toppings. Nineteen specialty pies relieve tough decision making, combining ingredients such as baby clams, garlic, bacon, and peppers (the Clams Casino). The chefs also put special spins on more than 50 sandwiches. They prepare paninis for the grill by layering on grilled chicken, baby spinach, tomato, and feta—a combo that represents the eatery’s Greek ties—and they ready cheeseburgers for encounters with white carpeting by ladling on chili.
Harrison Pizza and Pasta’s chefs use old-fashioned recipes to prepare classic Italian eats and old-fashioned hospitality to treat customers as family members. The kitchen staff’s expansive menu details hot garlic knots, pasta fagioli, and eggplant heroes. The main attractions, however, are the eatery's specialty pizzas, which arrive on focaccia or Sicilian-style thick crust and, like its catered dinners, are designed to please large groups or solitary guests with multiple mouths.