An olive branch painting adorns the dining room wall at Oli's Italian Eatery, but it's likely those nearby are already feeling pretty peaceful. Or at the very least, content over a meal. The menu packs in everything from specialty pizzas and pastas to seafood and burgers made in the open kitchen for lunch and dinner. The drink list offers specialty cocktails like watermelon martinis and sangria, along with draft beers and glasses of wine.
The Manor populates its eclectic menu with globally-inspired cuisine, from Greek and Italian fare to all-American steaks and burgers. Kick off comestible journeys or induce postmeal baa-ing with grilled Lollipop lamb chops served with mint jelly ($9.99). A platter of flaky spanakopita ($9.99) rolls to tables accompanied by a savory posse of rice, feta, tomato, and cucumbers, while Queen-cut prime rib ($14.99) is ushered to mouths flanked by baked-potato and coleslaw. Italian edibles include a rich lobster ravioli ($17.99), sautéed with portobello mushrooms in a pesto cream sauce over a bed of steamed spinach, and the American Cowboy burger ($8.59) is crowned with a 10-gallon hat of bacon, portobello, onions, and swiss cheese. The Manor also offers gluten-free preparations of certain items. With crisp white tablecloths, bright yellow walls, and a large fireplace, The Manor creates the ideal ambiance for dates, celebrations, or dated celebrations honoring the invention of the Pony Express.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
Owner Brian Manzi found a love for cooking as a child spending time in a pizza shop owned by his grandfather. Today, Café Manzi's is still a family business where Brian works with his younger brother and sister, CJ and Leanne, as well as a part-time staff made up of extended family members Manzi shares. Their cozy Shrewsbury Street business began as a breakfast and lunch destination serving a medley of American, Italian, and Middle Eastern specialties. Popular favorites such as peanut butter pancakes and homemade meatballs earned the restaurant a following, and after nearly a year in business, Manzi expanded his menu to serve Middle Eastern fare during dinner on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The kitchen staff sears meat for kebabs in an open kitchen so that patrons can wave hello to their soon-to-be entrees. A BYOB policy allows customers to bring along a favorite beer or wine. The restaurant's interior can accommodate 50 people, and sidewalk tables showcase alfresco meals in warm months. Café Manzi also creates sumptuous spreads for special events with a catering service, and hosts banquets inside the restaurant for private parties or coronations.
At Chiodas Trattoria, chefs draw on generations-old recipes to craft authentic Italian dishes in a genuine trattoria atmosphere reminiscent of American cafes and French bistros. To create the chicken gorgonzola, they toss chicken medallions and potato gnocchi in a creamy gorgonzola sauce with sun-dried tomatoes. They also specialize in authentic entrees such as veal parmigiano, fettuccine alfredo, and frutti di mare—shrimp, scallops, calamari, and mussels sautéed in wine sauce and served over linguine.
Porto Bello devotes much of its menu to the northern and southern cuisines of Italy. Sea-fare-loving seafarers can begin their voyage with mussels doused in a broth of white wine, butter, lemon, and olive oil ($10.95) before diving palate-first into the Maine lobster ravioli, a lobster- and cheese-stuffed dish named for America's most ravioli-filled state ($22.95). Other entrees include the chicken saltimbocca, with prosciutto, portobello mushrooms, mozzarella, spinach, and roasted-garlic sauce forming a belly-pleasing brigade ($16.95), and the portobello mushrooms, served over penne pasta and accented by red-pepper-mascarpone sauce mined from local sauce mines ($13.95).