Founded in 1983 as a delivery-focused business, Pinocchio's Pizza began crafting New York–style pizzas in its current high-ceilinged home three years ago. As topping-strewn pies and house-made pastas travel from the kitchen into the wood-paneled dining room, guests monitor nearby flat-screen TVs tuned to football and professional staring leagues and sip wine and beer in a semi-enclosed arched bar area. As the notes of live jazz float over tables on Saturday nights, private shindigs take place in a nearby banquet room, where chandeliers look down benevolently at special events.
At The Kitchen Italian Cafe and Pizzeria, diners twirl their forks in mounds of pasta tossed in creamy pesto or zesty marinara sauces. The menu bursts at the seams with satisfying Italian-American sandwiches and entrees, as well as pizzas available in New York, Sicilian, and Chicago styles. In addition to feeding dine-in customers, the restaurant also caters offsite to groups of almost any size, from a tight-knit family of five to an angry mob of 500 torch-wielding peasants.
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Bella’s Gourmet Pizza's menu features fresh, simple-yet-inventive pizzas and Italian fare. Many starters are shareable, including fire-toasted mozzarella bread ($5) and house-made hot spinach-garlic cheese dip ($6). After piquing an appetite, move on to Bella’s pies, which come in three sizes. Cheese pizzas ($8 small, $11 medium, $14 large) can be clothed in extra toppings ($1 each small, $1.50 each medium, $2 each large), or you can forgo the customization experience for one of the many pre-concocted specialty discs ($11 small, $16 medium, $20 large). The Hawaiian pizza pays pineappled tribute to the islands’ marinara-spewing volcanoes, and the perfect primo forces ham, pepperoni, bell peppers, and red onions onto a doughy dance floor. Bella’s Gourmet Pizza also serves up daily slices ($3 regular, $4 specialty) and is open until 3 a.m. Thursday–Saturday.
Though most people are familiar with brick-oven and stone-hearth pizza, not many know about slices cooked in the Italian Cuppone Giotto oven. That's because this oven is the newest addition to the pizza-preparing lineup. It sends electric heat to pies as they revolve atop the oven's rotating stone base to ensure pizzas are evenly cooked in just a few minutes. There's only one spot in North America the deploys this bake-smart piece of technology: Brothers' Pies n' Fries.
There, the trio of brothers load ovens with pizzas layered with traditional toppings such as sausage, jalapenos, and pineapple. They pair slices and whole pizzas with batches of hand-cut boardwalk fries seasoned with a choice of spices and sauces. These flavorful additions include everything from pub-staples such as malt and vinegar, pizza fixings, or the brothers' special seasoning that's as sweet and salty as a grizzled sea captain after charm school.