Every day at Salvatore's Pizza, Pasta & Subs, chefs toss fresh pizzas and prepare accompanying dishes inspired by the savory tastes of Sicily. Converse with up to three guests about what blue tastes like while noshing on pillowy garlic rolls drenched in olive oil and topped with large chunks of garlic. Up to four pizza toppings, such as pepperoni, anchovies, fresh tomatoes, eggplant, and mushrooms, top bubbly cheese and savory marinara, and Pepsi-product fountain drinks quench parched gullets.
Getting the dough right is one of the hardest parts of making a pizza. That's why they make it in house every morning at The Original Big Tomato, yielding a crust that's crisp on the bottom but still fluffy around the edges. Since a base like that deserves fine toppings, the crew also chops veggies fresh every day. They might crown pies with sun-dried tomatoes, fresh lettuce, basil, corn, and spinach. There's also a wide selection of cheeses, including gouda, gorgonzola, parmesan, and goat cheese. Alongside pizzas on the menu, there's also the range of salads, paninis, and wraps that one might see at an Italian cafe.
Doral Pizza’s team serves pies sized from 10 to 16 inches. Staffers bake pizzas topped with everything from gorgonzola alfredo to classic pepperoni, which is to pizza what butter is to toast and index-finger gesticulation are to being a politician. Their pasta roster catalogs such enticing entrees as pesto linguine and four-cheese penne.
Dubbed Miami's "Best Inexpensive Italian Restaurant" in 2002 by the Miami New Times, Bruschetta & Co. strives to serve traditional Italian edibles that are usually available only at upscale eateries and Donatella Versace's mini-bar. Culinary pathfinders can foray into boot-shaped fare with the funghi and carciofi bruschetta (lunch, $7.50/dinner, $7.95), swathed in still-beating artichoke hearts and oyster mushrooms, or the fritto misto ($10.95/$11.50), a trident's worth of flash-fried shrimp bathed in spicy marinara. Pizza protégés can pursue palate-pleasing pies such as the quattro formaggi ($10.95/$11.50), a pantheon of mozzarella, gorgonzola, fontina, and goat cheese. And intrepid desserteers can sample the bruschetta alla Nutella (pan-fried country bread, caramel, fresh fruit, and Nutella, $7.95), the most groundbreaking dessert since the Soviet Union's top-secret experiments with cotton-candy borscht.
While the heart of Johnny Carino's menu is rooted in genuine Italian traditions, forward-thinking creativity has birthed what they like to call their signature dishes. The menu was designed by executive chef Chris Peitersen, and each location executes it by blending fresh ingredients with extra time to create high-quality preparations. Diners will find entrees such as 16-layer lasagna with made-from-scratch sauce, and pizzas made with home-baked crust. Other signature choices include the all-natural beef tuscan ribeye, baked stuffed mushrooms topped with house lemon-basil cream sauce, and tiramisu made from the ground up. Entrees can be paired with any selection from Carino's extensive wine list and cocktail menu.
Village Café plates up a menu of salads, sandwiches, and inspired entrees in a European bistro setting. The crispy goat cheese appetizer ($9.95) waves a casual "Ciao" atop crostini, while the Village Cobb salad ($10.95) scoots by on a Dijon vinaigrette-fueled Vespa. Fungiphiles fancy the portabella panini ($8.95), with its grilled, marinated mushrooms and melted mozzarella, and the meat lover's pizza (small $10.95) satisfies any yearning passion for protein. Dinner diners choose from mains such as the mint and pistachio-crusted lamb (8 oz $17.95) accompanied by roasted garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus spears, or linguine with garlic, white wine, and fresh clams ($16.95).