At The Original Primo Pizza & Grill, chefs whirl handmade dough and whole, peeled tomatoes into a variety of thin-crust pizzas. While the menu includes classic standbys such as the hawaiian pizza, customers can also create their own perfect pies from toppings such as garlic, mushrooms, pepperoni, and sausage. What really shines through, however, is the restaurant’s large selection of specialty pies: buffalo-chicken pizza is topped with chicken and zesty buffalo sauce; Nutella pizza with brown and powdered sugar; and the American-style pizza gets topped with steak, peppers, onions, american cheese, and a pervasive dislike of the metric system.
While pizza dominates the menu, diners can also explore traditional Italian entrees, including dinner specialties such as chicken scampi, veal milanese, and spaghetti with clam sauce.
Don't be fooled by the name?Mulberry Street is actually located on Rahway Avenue in Woodbridge. There's nothing else this place is hiding, though, from its flat-screen TVs to its spacious dining room lined with exposed brick. Even if the chefs here wanted to keep their food a secret, they'd find it a difficult task. That's what happens when your menu includes thin-crust pizzas, chicken and shrimp rigatoni, 12-ounce ribeye steaks, and other Italian-American staples done to perfection. An extensive list of wines hailing from Italy, France, California, and around the world complement the feasts, as do coffees spiked with chocolate-flavored liqueur.
The pizza slingers at Papa John's toss each doughy discus by hand, and top their signature sauce with decadent mozzarella, fresh vegetables, and quality meats. Pie Picassos design two pies with up to two toppings each, and can commission a portrait of baby portobello mushrooms and spicy italian sausage posing against a backdrop of chewy crust or forge a blend of three cheeses smattered with crispy bacon. Tongues tiring of pizza's circular logic can take between-bite breaks with a side of breadsticks or parmesan-garlic breadsticks. A splashy two-liter beverage keeps taste buds on their toes. Order online to arrange a pickup or delivery, or visit a Papa John's location to dine right where the cheese sticks are harvested.
Couples on dates and families sharing special meals gather at Luciano's Italian Ristorante & Lounge, a 200-seat eatery that serves classic pastas, meaty entrees, and zesty seafood dishes. To accommodate the dietary needs of their many diners, chefs are able to prepare any pasta dish without gluten by swapping in wheatless ravioli, gemelli, spaghetti, or penne. Regulars and New York Times critics alike rave about the sicilian braised short ribs and pan-seared scallops, which are both featured on the chef's tasting menu as well as the a la carte. The spacious restaurant fosters an upscale supper club ambience, with a large fireplace at one end of the dining room and impressive wine racks displaying an ample stock of bottles. Located walking distance from Rahway Station and Union County Performing Arts Center, Luciano's boasts a convenient spot for a pre-theater dinner or post-train heist cocktails.
At each of Michelino's Restaurant?s four locations, kitchen staffers build upon three different depths of pizza crust?thin, deep dish, and Sicilian-style?with ingredients such as sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, steak, and pineapple. The tasty results are served alongside platefuls of baked pastas and hot sub sandwiches layered with veal cutlets, eggplant, or chicken and mozzarella, all adding their own rich scents to the dining rooms? Italian perfume.
With dishes of thick, sage-seasoned veal chops and house-made pasta on its tables, it's no wonder that the dining room at Da Noi gets crowded. The Midtown spot is usually "packed with devotees of solid Northern Italian fare," according to New York Magazine, which also praised the "elegant" wood-paneled dining room.
A Taste of Northern Italy
Da Noi's chefs celebrate the subtleties of Northern Italian cuisine by tirelessly chopping fresh herbs, slicing scarlet-hued beef carpaccio, and saut?ing filets of fresh sole in white wine. Da Noi's handmade pasta dishes have turned many first-time diners into regulars, but other enthusiasts return again and again for pasta-free dishes such as grilled chicken livers dressed in a tangy balsamic dressing and served over fresh field greens.
A Sip of La Dolce Vita
The dessert menu rubs shoulders with the cocktail program at Da Noi, and the results are lavishly indulgent. Bartenders mix and muddle ingredients such as white chocolate and fresh blueberries with potent liqueurs, and decorate shaken martinis with whimsical garnishes. Glasses of silky housemade limoncello present a careful balance of sweet and tart flavors.