At Argia's, chef Ryan Baldini and proprietors Pragun and Salina Rana strike a balance between serving fine northern Italian cuisine and fostering a laid-back dining atmosphere. Many of Ryan's dishes, such as his grilled beef tenderloin and range of handmade pastas, come in solo portions or shareable famiglia servings that sate larger parties. For a taste of the kitchen's signature dish, guests can pry open a Prince Edward Island mussel—shipped to the restaurant daily—and sop up its juices with housemade bread still warm from the oven or a pet sea sponge in need of a soak. Outside, the clinking of wineglasses rings out across a patio enclosed by fragrant herbs; inside, a rustic Sienese-style mural matched with eye-catching frescoes conjures an air of the Italian countryside.
The high levels of artificial preservatives and chemicals in modern pizza are the number-two cause of crow’s feet and dry mouth in America. Today's Groupon gets you $20 worth of fresh, organic pizza for $10 at zpizza, an oasis of natural, full-flavored pie in a wasteland of modern preservatives. zpizza offers bubbly pizza that’s safe for vegans, vegetarians, the gluten-shy, and snooty gourmands. Handcrafted rusticas join hot and cold sandwiches, crisp salads, and pasta on a menu full of organic options.A: Awful pizza. B: Bad Pizza. C: Crummy Pizza. D: Dad, I don’t eat pizza, I’m vegan now. E: Eat it, Stephanie, your mother worked hard on that pizza. F: Forgivably bad pizza, made by enthusiastic children.G: Gosh, this pizza is bad. H: Hey, everybody! I found an almost-untouched pizza on the bus!I: Insufficient portions of pizza. J: Just kidding, I’m not dying. I just wanted you to come over because I can’t finish this pizza. K: King Ralph wouldn’t even eat this pizza, and Wikipedia defines him as an “easy-going slob”! L: Lackluster pizza. M: Mediocre pizza.N: Not very good pizza. O: Okay pizza. P: Pizza (Italian, pronounced pit.tsa) is a world-popular dish of Italian origin, made with an oven-baked, flat, generally round bread that is often covered with tomatoes or a tomato-based sauce and cheese. Other toppings are added according to region, culture, or personal preference. Originating from Italian cuisine, the dish has become popular in many different parts of the world. A shop or restaurant that primarily makes and sells pizzas is called a pizzeria. The phrases pizza parlor, pizza place, and pizza shop are used in the United States. The term pizza pie is dialectal, and pie is used for simplicity in some contexts, such as among pizzeria staff.Q: Quietly hand me the pizza, and no harm will come to your beloved tarantula. R: Respectable pizza. S: Satisfactory pizza. T: Tony! Why come’a you don’t talk’a with’a fake Italian accent for the nice’a customers? U: Unexpectedly good pizza.V: Very good pizza. W: Whoah, who made this pizza, an angel? X: X-rays are a government conspiracy to increase your xenophobia and make you purchase xylophones. Y: Yikes! This pizza is so good it’s scary! Z: (see above)
Perhaps it was being asked to cook at the James Beard House twice that gave Pizzeria Orso head chef Will Artley the nerve to take over a pizzeria where pies compete with a menu of his best small plates and entrees. Or maybe it was the time he was invited to cook at the White House. Whatever gave Will the courage, the second-place Chopped finisher’s culinary high-wire act is a thrilling one. The Neapolitan-style pizzas may share the limelight, but they are worthy headliners. They’re forged from fresh, naturally leavened bread and cooked for 90 seconds at 800 degrees in a handmade volcanic-brick oven. Toppings run the gamut from traditional margherita pies to meatier options loaded with ham, sausage, and prosciutto. Tasty shareable plates populate the equally ambitious antipasti selection, which includes grilled octopus, spinach gnocchi served with bacon and tomato, and oven-roasted meatballs. Button-upholstered booths populate Pizzeria Orso's dining room, resonating comfy vibes that underscore the menu's commitment to serving gourmet cuisine in a casual environment. Exposed wooden beams recall Old-World rusticity, and the open space grants just about every table an unobstructed view of the massive brick oven so they can flee if it becomes sentient and starts demanding the ingredients for s'mores.
Rocco's Italian Restaurant delights diners with family-style Italian cuisine, created with closely guarded secret sauce recipes. The menu highlights the restaurant’s rich lasagna, a medley of melted cheese and freshly made meat sauce spread across four layers of pasta like a long-limbed meatball taking a nap ($14.95). Large sautéed shrimp cozy up to green peppers, mushrooms, and marinara sauce on a wonton bed of linguine in the shrimp cacciatore ($18.95), and thin-crust or deep-dish pizza comes in varieties such as the Pope's Blessing, a pious bouquet of seasoned meats with mushrooms, onions, and black olives ($11.95+). Rocco's also serves up savory subs and burgers ($6.95+) for a handheld meal safe for white shirts and freshly polished commedia dell’arte masks.
Pizza is the star of the show at Italian eatery Red Tomato Pizzeria. In the kitchen, chefs stretch out freshly mixed dough before covering it with a housemade tomato sauce, a smattering of vegetables and meats, and a heap of 100% mozzarella cheese. Sixteen gourmet pizzas gather carefully selected toppings to create a Hawaiian-themed pineapple, bacon, and ham pizza, or a taco-inspired pie with seasoned ground beef, jalape?os, and cheddar cheese that's just as delicious when wrapped in a tortilla. Not hungry enough for a whole pie? The pizza fries swap out dough for french fries before topping them with the same sauce and gooey cheese. Need your pizza in a more travel-friendly vessel? Opt for a calzone instead. And of course, there are a few non-pizza options as well, including platefuls of spaghetti and meatballs and sausage parmigiana sub sandwiches.
Joe set sail from Agrigento, Italy with his family in 1970 to land in New York, eventually leaving for Virginia to seek his version of the American dream and opening Joe’s Place. The eatery has been family-run for 34 years, which is long enough to see the art of fashion transform countless times and the art of reading a book stay suspiciously the same. Ovens spill out piles of crispy, thin-crust pizzas adorned with fresh toppings and cheeses—such as the white pizza with fontina and garlic and the seafood pizza with fresh shrimp and clams—and thick layers of dough support sicilian deep-dish pies. Cooks prepare pots of steaming pastas and build specialty subs with stacks of prosciutto, provolone, and capicollo. Members of Joe’s family work in both his restaurants, keeping the authentic Italian recipes in constant use, like the sun, a small percentage of which is also pasta sauce.