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.
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.
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.
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.
Anthony Russo's parents came to the U.S. from Sicily and Naples with a mind to preserve their family traditions. So, it's no wonder that their son picked up their love for cooking. He studied at their side, learning to craft Italian food and what came to be known as New York?style pizza, though first he had to invent New York. When Anthony left New York to move to Texas, he decided to keep the tradition of his family's pizza alive by opening his own pizza joint, Russo's New York Pizzeria. Houstanians took to the pie, and the business took off. Now, people enjoy Anthony's family recipes in 16 Texas cities, six states, five countries, and multiple realities.