It was blazing hot in Brooklyn during the summer of 1959. So when the spray of fire hydrants wasn't chilly enough to keep kids cool, Uncle Louie decided to whip up some Italian ices for the neighborhood. This became a tradition on the block, and then the neighborhood, and eventually, grew into a fully-fledged business: Uncle Louie G's Italian Ices & Ice Cream. Though there are now outposts of this Brooklyn institution all across the U.S., staff still whip up Italian ices using Uncle Louie's old-fashioned recipes. Enjoy scoops full of Italian ice in a range of sweet flavors, from root beer to lemon to decadent peanut butter chocolate cup. They also use Uncle Louie's recipes to create ice cream flavors such as pistachio, butter pecan, and apple pie a la mode?the latter of which combines rich vanilla ice cream with actual chunks of the dessert to create a flavor as all-American as a photo of Henry Fonda wearing a hotdog costume.
In 1908 a couple from Leona, Italy, immigrated to America, opening a restaurant on Mulberry Street in Manhattan. Today, their grandchildren continue their culinary legacy at G. Juliano's Restaurant, where the classic traditions of the Italian kitchen continue to thrive, and New York’s entertainment culture lives on through live music, comedy showcases, and “dinner and a show” events.
G. Juliano’s marinara sauces simmer on stovetops for 8–10 hours while chefs use recipes passed through generations to cook up traditional dishes such as shrimp scampi or pork scaloppini. Even some of the same kitchen implements have been carried through a century and down a coastline. On the more casual side, the eatery’s New York–style deli lays hot dogs and philly cheesesteaks atop fresh buns and churns out gargantuan steak sandwiches that can feed up to five. Party platters fan out pasta dishes and cold cuts across banquet tables at birthdays or balloon animal art gallery openings.
For John Capone, pizza is more than just food—it’s a family thing. That’s why he pulls from the vault of Capone family recipes to craft their distinctive sauce and dough. For build-your-own pies, John spreads homemade marinara sauce and add up to six toppings, such as banana peppers, artichokes, or Italian sausage, atop hand-tossed, whole grain, or deep-dish crusts. Those same ingredients also flavor Capone’s specialty pies, along with extra-fancy options such as eggplant and housemade ranch sauce. Beyond pizza, John fills their menu with a combination of Italian and pizzeria staples. They dot the Italian end of the spectrum with numerous handmade delicacies, including chicken parmesan and tiramisu. Pizzeria eats range from Chicago-style hot dogs crowned with homemade chili to slow-roasted chicken wings tossed with a choice of more than 10 sauces, including roasted garlic parmesan.
Those interested in going out for a night on the town can take a load off in the casual dining room, which boasts flat-screen televisions beaming with the latest sports games.
Distinguishing itself from the proliferation of fly-by-night pizzerias that pop up every other day, Villa Rose has firmly established itself as one of the area's oldest and most beloved, serving their signature thin-crust pies since 1957. Customers can build their own pizzas with toppings that range from jalapenos to meatballs, or order a specialty pie, such as the Pomodoro with fresh tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and mozzarella. Over the years, Villa Rose has built off a foundation of their classic pies, adding a slew of Italian mainstays to the menu: there's sandwiches teetering with piles of Italian cold cuts, Philly steak, or sausage and peppers, as well as pasta dinners?one for each finger's unique appetite. The entree selection includes Italian classics such as veal parmigiana and calamari arrabiata entangled in linguini.
Husband-and-wife team Seb and Maria fill the menu with Italian classics at Sebastiano's Pizzeria & Restaurant. Pizzas and pastas abound, along with shareable plates of fried zucchini and antipasto. Seb offers an octet of specialty entrees?including chicken cordon bleu and shrimp in a garlic sauce?that he happily makes when requested. Seb and Maria also share their love of cooking with the community by providing lunches to area school and participating in local festivals.
Live music plays a few nights a week at Azzurro Italian Restaurant & Bar, but diners don't need to plan ahead to hear the gentle music of the Atlantic Ocean just beyond the patio. Decked out in palm trees, grass-thatched awnings, and white curtains that flutter in the breeze, the atmosphere is pure coastal Florida. But the menu draws from a different aquatic inspiration: the Mediterranean Sea, which inspires maritime Italian and Sicilian cuisine such as fish soup topped with pizza dough, lobster ravioli, and spaghetti tossed with clams. It's not all seafood, however—there are also terrestrial delights such as beef carpaccio, grilled filet mignon, and rack of lamb. Servers pair these plates with bottles of international wines that drifted up onshore and the restaurant’s signature cocktails.