At Quattro's Italian Restaurant, the chefs accent their Northern Italian cuisine with more than 50 sauces. That includes the smoked-tomato sauce that tops the housemade gnocchi, the Grand Marnier sauce that glazes the duck breast, and the sherry lemon-butter sauce that glistens in the breaded nooks and crannies of the tilapia florentine. Italy isn't the only influence, though. Quattro's also has a tapas menu with clams, chorizo, and filet mignon and a long wine list with selections from South America and Neptune.
Passed from Andy Saldamarco to Tom DeLuca, Saldamarco?s Deli has been a fixture in the community for 39 years, and DeLuca carries on Andy's recipes as he serves up many of the same sandwiches and hot foods such as eggplant parm, chicken parm, meatballs, and sausage and peppers that have kept it a local staple. Saldamarco's was also voted #1 best Italian Deli in the 2013 Best of Shoreline Readers' Poll, #2 for best soups, and #3 for best salads. Freshness is a priority, as all salads are made fresh including tuna salad with Hellman's Mayo and the Deli grinds their own beef with no additives. Housemade roast beef adds tasty weight to soft sub rolls, and freshly cut steaks and pork roasts line the butcher's case alongside strands of housemade italian sausage that are great for grilling in the summer or exercising when a jump rope is unavailable.
In the kitchen of Nuzzo's Apizza, third-generation pizza maker Barry Nuzzo and his team of cooks prepare thin-crust New Haven-style pizzas and Sicilian-style pies layered with ricotta cheese. Patrons can choose from toppings such as bacon, clams, or red peppers roasted on-site, or opt for a specialty pie: the Eggplant Rollatine, for example, which combines eggplant, marinara, ham, ricotta, and Parmesan. The cooks also make gluten-free pizzas, pasta dishes, and submarine sandwiches.
Christian and Antonio Setaro?s parents immigrated to the United States from Salerno, Italy, in the 1970s and opened Antonio?s Twin Oaks, an Italian eatery known for its homestyle cooking. Growing up around the kitchen, the brothers developed a liking for cooking that ultimately led to the opening of their own Italian eatery, The Original Antonio?s in Woodbridge. Later, they added locations in Beacon Falls and Ansonia.
At each restaurant, pasta headlines the menu. Shreds of romano cheese dust orders of homemade cheese ravioli, pappardelle with duck ragu, and rigatoni with plum tomatoes and italian sausage. Cheese also bubbles atop specialty pizzas and accentuates entrees built around shrimp, salmon, chicken, veal, or pork chops. The drink menu lists a bevy of dessert drinks, beer, martinis, and wine, nine of which are available by glass or cupped hands.
In 1909, Frank Pepe immigrated to the United States from his native town of Maiori, Italy. He was poor, illiterate, and just 16 years old—but he had a strong work ethic. After a stint in a New Haven factory and service as an Italian solider in World War I, he settled down for good in New Haven with his wife, Filomena, and started a bakery delivery service. But because he couldn’t read, he had trouble deciphering the orders. So he started having his customers come to him, and in 1925, he and Filomena added a simple item to the menu: Neapolitan-style pizzas.
To this day, the staff still heats up coal-fired ovens to bake the original tomato pies that Frank and Filomena first made famous. They can also add toppings such as bacon, Italian-imported anchovies, and house-roasted red peppers to their pizzas, or create specialty pies such as their signature white clam with olive oil, fresh garlic, and oregano. Diners can pair their pies with Pepe’s salad, tossed in balsamic vinaigrette, or have the server tap draft brews such as Sam Adams Boston Lager and Peroni. They’ve served Foxon Park soda since 1925, so diners can request bottles of cream soda or diet white-birch beer made from only the sveltest birch trees.