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.
You wouldn't exactly be wrong in calling the plates at Tottenville Tavern bar food, but there's more to the menu of burgers, fried snacks, and bar pies than first meets the eye. For instance, the fries are hand-cut, the pizzas are topped with clam or buffalo sauce, and the eggrolls are stuffed with the contents of an entire reuben sandwich. You can get the classics more or less straight-up, too. The house-made corned beef inside the eggrolls is also the star of its own sandwich, joining a slate of double-handers such as chipotle-barbecue pulled pork (called "outstanding" by the Staten Island Advance) and a half-dozen steak burgers. Guests can pair a thin-crust bar pie with one of several microbrews, available in bottles or served from eight draft selections, creating America's favorite combination after ketchup and everything.
The clientele is as diverse as the crowd-pleasing menu would suggest. A kids' menu and a tolerance for the word "why?" makes family gatherings easy, and occasional live music ranges from rock to harmonically precise covers of Hank Williams and the Louvin Brothers.
Since 1967, the Mandreucci Family has lured in diners with the scent of bubbly margherita pizzas, sopressata sandwiches on semolina bread, and chicken, sausage, and shrimp mingling with rich sauces on plates of pasta. Tan brick and colorful murals of wholesome Italian ingredients surround families and couples as they twirl linguini around their fork tines or munch on slices of vodka-penne pizza, a specialty pizza topped with vodka sauce and diced ham. During catered events, guests can avoid eye contact with an old lab partner by preoccupying themselves with fresh fruits, antipasti, penne pomodoro, lasagna, and veal.
The front counter at Little Italy showcases the spectacular array of pizzas that the skilled chefs whip up back in the kitchen—thin-crust pizzas lined with gooey circles of mozzarella, deep-dish pizzas dotted with sausage, and square-shaped pizzas decorated in slender slices of lemon. Once pizzas are showered in combinations of vegetables, seafood, or meat, and loaded into the oven, chefs turn their attention to other Italian specialties—cheesy chicken parmigiana, crunchy Italian-style subs, and plump calzones.
Customers split orders of wings out in the warm dining room, where soft, white curtains surround large, light-baiting windows. Others opt for delivery services, preferring to enjoy meals in the comfort of their own home or the fancy bank lobby they like to pretend is their home.
At Nunzio's Pizzeria, pizza experts whip up more than 20 varieties of specialty pizzas with inventive topping combinations such as chicken and alfredo sauce or fresh mussels. In addition to pies, they extend their culinary expertise towards a variety of other pizzeria classics—including hot subs, calzones, and mozzarella sticks—as well as authentic Italian favorites like eggplant rollatini pasta and veal saltimboca. Diners can split these dishes on intimate tabletops in the sunny seating area, or opt for carryout service to enjoy pizza and ill-advised food juggling routines in the privacy of their own homes.