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. Customers can also have their pies delivered to their home.
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 10 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.
Ever since 1981, owners Joe and Helen Mineo have been serving generous portions of wings and seafood, integrating New York–style pizza seamlessly into their menu years after. Mineo’s tempts taste buds with dishes that range from lightly battered wings and spaghetti with chili to fried scallops and catfish sandwiches. It also dazzles palates with a raw bar, which features clams and oysters that appear raw, steamed, Rockefeller, or casino. No matter what they order, diners marvel at Mineo’s atmosphere of warmth and familiarity, fostered by the three generations of employees on staff and their leader, Debbie Carvalho, who’s been managing the restaurant since the day it opened.
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.
Within the bustling kitchen of Bistro Mezzaluna's new location just off the 17th Street Causeway, chefs fold local seafood and seasonal ingredients into an array of fine American and Italian-inspired dishes. Under the leadership of Chef Anish Rana, they shower rigatoni and linguini in fresh seafood and classic sauces, and season prime Angus beef steaks with brandy peppercorn and roasted garlic bordelaise. They also pay special attention to each meal's end, hand-crafting each dessert in-house instead of sourcing them to outside shops. Even though the venue is new, this commitment to delicious food isn't; rather, it's the same kind of top-notch cooking that's made the Zagat-rated restaurant a destination for more than 20 years.
The atmosphere is considerably quieter outside of the kitchen, where the elegant dining room's soft lights illuminate pristine white linen tablecloths and the Italian paintings that rest on the walls. On the lush new outdoor patio, the clink of wine glasses and sounds of al fresco dinners harmonize with the trickle of water cascading down a stone fountain. The restaurant also houses an upstairs banquet facility, which welcomes parties of nearly any size for family gatherings, business lunches, and festive parties. No matter where dinner takes place, servers dart nimbly about, outfitted with pitchers for pouring ice water and keys for opening wine bottles. Diners chatter amicably all the while, sipping on imported and American wines from the 4,000+ bottles that reside in the restaurant's professional-grade wine room.
Though born in Sicily, Gianpiero Cangelosi moved throughout Europe, developing his skills as a restaurateur. In 1987, he finally landed by parachute in Pembroke Pines and opened Capriccio's Ristorante with the help of his wife Karen. Their traditional take on Italian cuisine quickly earned them a loyal legion of followers, and eventually the demand was too great to fit into one dinning room. They expanded their space with a second dining room and a lounge where a 6’5” chandelier shimmers above an octagonal granite bar. But as much as its surroundings have changed, the quality and authenticity of the food—which has earned the eatery multiple OpenTable Diner’s Choice awards—has not. The restaurant’s waiters ferry dishes of salmon and pine nuts, rack of lamb, and Black Angus filet mignon to tables of quietly salivating guests. Bites of braised veal shank or calamari pair with a dizzying array of wines from Italy, California, and Chile.
The restaurant’s decor reflects the origins of its cuisine–white Corinthian pillars flank sunny yellow walls marked by brick accents, arches, and ornately framed paintings. Diners lounge in wrought iron chairs as they listen to the standup routines of local violinists and pianists.