Praised for its fresh fish and hearty portions, Cirella's serves up a diverse menu of classic Italian dishes and made-to-order sushi rolls. Hew mouth-sized morsels of pollo arrosto ($19)—a grilled chicken breast served over arugula and fresh rosemary—or return the gawking stares of a cluster of gaping clams with an order of linguine and vongole ($14+), glazed with white clam or traditional red sauce. A selection of raw and cooked sushi rolls, meanwhile, allows diners to sweep taste buds from Italy to Japan like stowaways on Tom Hanks' private biplane. Bite into colorful cylinders such as an avocado roll ($7) or the more elaborate Black Dragon roll ($14), swirled with shrimp tempura, asparagus, avocado, and crowned with slivers of eel. During happy hour, diners can pair their savory entrées with half-priced drinks.
At Molino's Ristorante, owner and native Italian Kanuccio Purisico captivates diners with a menu of mouthwatering Northern Italian fare. Dishes of calamari fritti ($10.50) and clams oreganato ($8.50) entice appetites, and burbling waterfalls beckon outdoors as patrons transport themselves to the sunny Adriatic without paying exorbitant transatlantic taxi rates. Mealtime maestros dazzle guests with authentic dishes such as the lambata di vitello alla griglia ($29.50), a grilled veal chop accessorized with hot cherry peppers and mushrooms, or the rollatine melanzane ($18.50), ricotta cheese rolled into thinly sliced eggplant and topped with tomato sauce. The impressive bill of fare also satisfies hankerings for ocean-fresh eats with seafood such as the salmone onde e terra ($24.50), a cut of broiled salmon luxuriously lounging in a rich cognac sauce with a posse of peas, prosciutto, and mushrooms.
• One appetizer (up to an $11.95 value) • Two entrees (up to a $45.90 value) • Two drinks (up to a $15.90 value) In Anthony's Trattoria's honey-hued dining room, diners share pizzas, pastas, seafood spreads, or meat-centric entrees from a dinner menu brimming with Italian classics. Kick off elegant chow-downs with a starter of bruschetta alla trattoria—a chorus line of tomato, basil, and smoked mozzarella belting Italian arias on a stage of toasted bread ($6.95)—before tongue diving into the traditional-style margherita (9.95) or arugula-and-prosciutto pizza ($12.95). Friends can spar with forkfuls of spaghetti carbonara ($14.95) or settle into communal ownership of veal piccata, a tender cut of milk-fed beef sprinkled with capers, butter, and fresh lemon ($17.95). Glasses of wine (up to $7.95/glass) act as liquid sidekicks to meals, allowing couples to toast to their evening out, their relationship, or Newton's law of fermentation.
The pie purveyors at Oliveoil’s Pizza craft a menu brimming with authentic Italian fare. Dough artists shape 16-inch spheres, building them thin or thick, or tossing pies in the direction of moon gazers before slathering on sauce, cheese, and a choice of topping such as roasted garlic, gyro meat, sausage, or fresh mozzarella. Fingers grab at jumbo wings, saving a bit of buffalo, barbecue, or garlic-parmesan sauce for diligent wet-naps, or dipping cheese breadsticks in cups of bubbling soda to confuse friends and family. Guests can dine in, carry out, or have their spoils delivered for a $2 charge.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time.