Gennaro’s Ristorante has managed to stay open for nearly 30 years not only because of its menu of Italian pastas and grilled meats, but also because of its dedication to Italian-style hospitality. When guests first enter the eatery, they head to the sitting room—a cozy area with marble flooring where they can sit beside a roaring fire and sip Italian wines and creative cocktails from the bar.
They then head into the dining room for a night of devouring meticulously prepared entrees, such as pork medallions with a green-peppercorn-and-cognac sauce, or tagliolini pasta with squid, shrimp, and mussels. The inclusive restaurant caters to all types, offering a vegan menu and gluten-free options. While patrons eat, performers soothe the ears with classical piano or guitar music or gentle earlobe rubs.
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.
The masters of Mediterranean comestible crafting at Victorio's Ristorante construct a menu brimming with freshly prepared Old-World eats to provide a dining experience akin to crashing an Italian family's Sunday dinner. Commence table chatter over an antipasto salad ($6.95 small, $11.95 large), a pre-meal heaping of assorted cold cuts and mozzarella cheese floating atop a ripe divan of iceberg lettuce. For a delicious exhibition of wild eatables in their natural habitat, order the chicken fiorentino and watch as angel-hair pasta wraps serpentine noodles around helpless, succulent morsels of chicken breast and freshly steamed spinach sautéed in garlic and lemon juice ($9.25). Alternately, ravenous herbivores hungry enough to tunnel directly to a neighbor’s garden will revel in the vegetarian lasagna, a traditional dish featuring ricotta cheese, spinach, and feta lying on bunk beds of layered pasta and swathed in an encompassing blanket of marinara sauce and melted mozzarella ($8.75). Feed an entire table of family members or teenage turtles with one of eight available pizzas, including the Victorio's special ($13.20 for 10", $17.70 for 14"), a pie that's been dragged through the meat garden and vegetable factory and served with anchovies upon request. Instead of spiking tableware and performing an elaborate end-zone dance, cap off meals with a slice of homemade tiramisu ($4.95) and a double shot of cappuccino ($3.50).
The specialty pizzas at Pizza Pie Eatery break the mold. While diners will find familiar staples such as the Hawaiian pizza or BBQ chicken pizza, they might be surprised by some of the other options. The Greek pizza floods the palate with Mediterranean flavors, culled from feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, and the Mexican pizza draws together mozzarella and cheddar along with jalapenos and meatballs. Diners also choose from fresh-made sandwiches as well as traditional pasta dishes and gluten-free fare.