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, spiced Italian 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 spicy shrimp and chicken, 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.
New York-style pizza and Italian-style Italian food fill the menu at Café Sicilia, a casual neighborhood joint with a welcoming feel. Served by the pie or slice, sizzling pizzas are topped with canadian bacon, mushrooms, capers, artichokes, and other standard or specialty toppings and give off the aromas of toasted crust and melty cheese. Deep dish, sicilian-style pies pack an extra hearty punch, while stromboli and calzones transform the slice into a more compact culinary vehicle.
Outside the pizza realm, Café Sicilia's chefs plate fettucini alfredo, baked ziti, tortellini, and lasagna. Kids can tuck into spaghetti and meatballs or chicken parmigiana, while parents feast on zuppa de pesce, an assortment of seafood layered in zesty marinara. Culinary expeditions conclude with tiramisu, cannoli, and plain or chocolate cheesecake.
What started as a clandestine social club in the 1960s for prominent local Italians has since evolved into ZuRoma Restaurant, a family of eateries where chefs cook meals using 40-year-old recipes. These recipes rely upon many homemade ingredients, so each day ZuRoma's kitchens bustle with staffers building meatballs and sausages from scratch and crafting menu items such as specialty pizzas and subs with red sauce and provolone spooned from a cauldron of melted moon rocks. Customers can choose to dine in the North Richland Hills location, order carry out from either location, or call ZuRoma's faithful delivery drivers to ferry Italian eats directly to their door.
Cooks at Xena Pizza top housemade dough with fresh ingredients such as bacon, red peppers, and mushrooms to craft their Seattle–style pies. Customers may build their own pizzas, choosing from 16 different toppings, or opt for a signature pie such as the bacon-cheeseburger deluxe with hamburger and cheddar cheese.
At Lizzano's Pizza, the servers prefer that you bring your own drinks. They view their BYOB policy as a boon, not a financial burden, opining that diners who supply the wine tend to immerse themselves more fully in the eating experience. They've even compiled a list of libation recommendations based on popular choices at other restaurants, and they provide glasses and wine openers for patrons while eschewing any corkage fees.
This emphasis on neighborly behavior tints the restaurant's entire atmosphere, as well as its menu, which prioritizes southern Italian staples. Owner Tony Rika—who perfected his pizza-making techniques in both Rome and New York City—takes a hands-on approach to his cuisine, handmaking the marinara sauce, hand tossing the pizza dough, and high-fiving each of his fellow cooks while the disk is in the air. The staff delivers entrees such as chicken parmigiana and beef lasagna beneath the nigh-silent rotations of the dining room's gyrofan—an eye-catching ceiling piece that mimics models found on early trains and ocean liners. Around the tables, pictures of Italian landscapes complement the authentic flavors of housemade marsala and piccata sauces and seasonal specials that could include everything from mussels linguine to rich chocolate bread pudding.
After years devising his ideal pizzeria, David Davydd Miller dispensed his first slices in 1984 to patrons in College Station, Texas. Back then Dave recruited the help of a flourmill and cannery to generate customized blends of his crust and sauce formulas. These days, within DoubleDave's Pizzaworks restaurants' 30 Texas and Oklahoma locations, chefs concoct Dave's signature honey whole-wheat crust daily from hand-tossed dough along with batches of sauce made from scratch with Escalon tomatoes. Those ingredients join hand-cut veggies and meats from Tyson and Burke to collectively form a delectable disk that proves once and for all that pie can be divided evenly. Along with half a dozen specialty pizzas, DoubleDave's Pizzaworks appeases palates with signature pepperoni rolls, sandwiches, and Dave's favorite dish, the philly-cheesesteak stromboli.