Pies baked in homemade sauce bake to a crisp, golden finish over hot embers inside ovens at Giovanni's Coal Fire Pizza. 15 homemade Italian dinners, authentic pastas, chicken dishes, sandwiches, and salads top tables inside both locations, which each sport exposed-brick walls and a bevy of flat-screen televisions.
The ambrosial aroma of Italian spices fills the air inside Pizza Time Caffé, which dishes up an extensive menu of pizza and traditional Italian favorites. The thin-and-crispy Grandma pizza with fresh mozzarella and marinara sauce ($21.99) and the pizza caprese with fresh plum tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil ($15.99) are Italian-style pies that transport diners to the old country. Meanwhile, a 16-inch New York–style hand-tossed crust topped with mozzarella ($14.99), and additional toppings such as pepperoni or ricotta ($1.50 each), brings tears of joy to Empire State eyes faster than Derek Jeter turning a double play before saving twin babies from a burning building. Adventurous appetites can try a specialty pie such as the mashed-potato pizza with bacon and three cheeses ($26.95) to rebel against the traditional rules of pizza creation. For those seeking a less disk-based cheese-and-sauce infusion, Pizza Time Caffé offers an astounding variety of Italian classics such as lasagna ($12.99) and eggplant rollatini twisted up with ricotta cheese and prosciutto and served with tomato sauce and pasta ($14.99). A wide selection of subs suits hands-on diners in a hurry while cappuccinos ($4 each) and espressos ($2.50 each) keep their engines running.
In a space described by the owners as "rustic chic," Saporissimo’s chefs knead and roll out fresh pasta dough, shave pungent truffles, and prepare wild game to populate a menu that celebrates traditional Tuscan cuisine. Named a defender of Italian culinary excellence by the Italy-America chamber of commerce and praised in the Sun Sentinel for its “unobtrusive, yet attentive” service, Saporissimo seats its guests in chocolate-hued chairs next to white tablecloths in the dining room of what used to be a private house. From the muted yellow walls, sunlight streams through windows during the day to alight on plates of Italian cuisine that Miami's Italian consul general has recognized as authentic, including antipasti of duck-breast carpaccio or a truffled polenta with wild-boar ragu.
Strings of party lights along the ceiling create a warm, low-lit atmosphere at night, encouraging intimate conversations and clandestine swaps of microfiche between bites of pappardelle with wild-boar sausage or wild rabbit braised with wine, garlic, and peppers. Inset into an exposed-brick wall, a six-pane window augments the feeling of dining in a private Tuscan home.
A chalkboard behind the dining room’s bar lists La Stella’s refined Italian dishes, creating a dining experience the Sun Sentinel called "sophisticated, but not pretentious." After honing her culinary talents in Providence, Rhode Island, owner and head chef Jamie Barlow relocated to Boca Raton, bringing along her passion for Italian cuisine. To secure traditional Mediterranean flavors, she relies on imported mozzarella and Italian tuna as well as house-made sausages. The freshness of her cuisine stems from the quality produce and marbled proteins she covertly hauls off the podium at the county fair's blue-ribbon ceremonies.
Clean, black lines on the walls contrast with the white dining room, which uses floor-to-ceiling windows to keep the space welcoming and airy throughout the day. At night, track lighting helps to keep the room as well-lit as a tanning bed full of hand mirrors, and swooping strings of bulbs illuminate the covered seating outside.
The pizza experts at Steve’s Wood Fired Pizza knead fresh dough into thin disks, slather them with house-made sauce, and toss them into an Italian-imported wood-fired oven, where they acquire a smoky aroma and crackling crust. The flame-licked pizzas have earned a slew of accolades, not only for their dark and well-done crusts, but for their more than 55 toppings such as applewood-smoked bacon, grilled vegetables, marinated shrimp, and caramelized onions. Rather than fold their menus into paper sailboats, guests can showcase their creativity by personalizing their own pizzas down to its cheeses and blend of herbs. Once crafted, pizzas find their proper place inside an intimate dining room, where 13 tables dot a welcoming, homey interior.
The flames inside the stacked stone oven at Tucci's lightly char thin pizzas made with 20 types of toppings and five kinds of cheese, including ricotta and fresh mozzarella. Below modern lights that hang overhead like glowing popsicles, cheesy pizzas pair with sautéed spinach, broccoli rabe, and escarole with sausage and fire-roasted chicken. While sipping on glasses of wine, guests can ask servers about getting pizzas on multigrain bread, or retreat to the outdoor patio.