Drawing on two decades of experience and culinary experimentation, the chefs at Petruccelli's Italian Eatery slip pastas and calzones into an oven, from which the aromas of garlic, basil, mozzarella, and tomatoes escape. In Hoover, their compatriots at Café Lazio press flatbread sandwiches and cut thin slices of capicolla, pancetta, and prosciutto. At both locations, sunshine pours down on outdoor patios, causing flowers to bloom and parasol salesmen to crawl from their caves.
MaFIAoZA's is based after a 1920's New York pizzeria and neighborhood pub and pays homage to the robust simplicity of Italian cooking by crafting fresh, seasonal dishes for lunch and dinner. Un-cage creativity and build your own pie ($2.75/slice, $9.75/12", $13.75/18"), or try a specialty pizza such as the Last Request ($19/$26), a colorful medley of black olives, pepperoni, salami, Italian sausage, Portobello mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, garlic, crumpled pages of romance novels, green peppers, red onion and jalapeños. The Consigliere ($12) is a hearty helping of meat lasagna sure to quench a rumbling appetite, and the caprese salad ($7 for small, $11 for regular) is an affable mountain of homemade mozzarella, tomatoes, and a chiffonnade of basil drizzled in a balsamic reduction. The welcoming eatery also often features live music to placate ears that are jealous of the stomach’s bliss.
Tony Ray's Pizza epitomizes the classic pizzeria: think tables draped in black-and-white checkered cloths, and mouthwatering photos of pizza strewn across the walls. and the menu is just as classic?two dozen toppings weigh down hand-tossed crusts, thin crusts, and deep-dish pies. But among the 10 specialty pizzas churned out by the kitchen, there are a few unusual flavor combinations Tony?s white chicken pie, for example, combines chicken, spinach, cheese, and alfredo sauce, while the Memphis barbecue chicken pizza combines sweet and smokey flavors like honey barbecue sauce, bacon, and green pepper.
For those craving something other than pizza, the eatery also serves meatball and chicken bacon ranch subs, which come toasted and paired with chips made from scratch. And for those who don't feel like leaving the comfort of their own home, Tony Ray's can deliver pizzas to front steps or slide them in through extra-large mail slots.
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. Led by executive chef Chris Peitersen, the seasoned kitchen staff blends fresh ingredients along 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 any selection from Carino's extensive wine list and drink menu.
Despite its Italian name, Bella Cucina’s kitchen does not settle on one culinary tradition when it comes to compiling it's menu of pan-European fare. Lunchtime diners opt for a taste of France with slices of quiche with gruyere cheese or crepes stuffed with chicken. At dinner, the dishes hover closer to the Mediterranean, with options such as pasta dishes doused in sauce and tossed with seafood. Additionally, bubbling pots of fondue allow diners to coat morsels of food in molten cheese or chocolate for dessert.
At Delicio's Pizza & Pasta, chefs create handmade Italian pizzas with dough that's made fresh daily and more than 30 different toppings, including fresh basil, artichokes, meatballs, and smoked ham. Guests dine on slices of pie crowned with grilled chicken and pesto or a garden's worth of roasted and marinated veggies, or dig their forks into baked manicotti and spaghetti with meatballs.