Bellagios Pizza, locally owned and operated since 1996, brews ripe batches of tomato sauce and tosses fresh disks of dough daily at their Wilsonville location, while crews at each restaurant sprinkle pies with delicious toppings to create a menu loaded with pizzas, grinders, and calzones. Heaps of spinach, artichokes, and juicy tomatoes guide wandering bellies out of the desert with the Oasis pizza ($10–$19.99), while the Butcher Block throws a crust-top party of salami, pepperoni, canadian bacon, and italian sausage ($10–$19.99), coming together in hearty harmony like a chorus of lumberjacks. Diners interested in a wider variety of toppings or in teaching children about medieval class structure can opt for a pie cleanly divided down the middle, such as a half-cheese, half-pepperoni pizza ($8–$17.99). Slathered with pizza sauce and adorned with meaty toppings, the Bellagio grinder ($5.99) competes with a host of calzones ($10.99) for the silver medal to the pizza menu's gold.
Tabletop candles cast a mild glow around Cafe Allegro's quaint dining space, where authentic Italian pastas, sandwiches, and hearth-baked pizzas convey the restaurant's 15 years of culinary mastery in every mouthful. Cream sauces, marsala marinara, meats, and fresh vegetables top a latticework of traditional pastas, and calzones swell with myriad ingredients and pride at no longer taking a back seat to pizza. Glasses full of Italian wines reflect the twinkling bulbs that frame the bistro's windows, and a banquet room with an outdoor patio hosts festive events.
At Brix Tavern, executive chef Kevin Kennedy stamps his unique fingerprint on American comfort food favorites, including brick-oven-fired artisan pizzas, local and fresh salads, and sandwiches. Like the cuisine, speciality cocktails are made with locally sourced ingredients, such as seasonal Oregon berries mixed with fresh lime and tequila. "You call it" martinis and wine specials are available during lunch service. According to Portland Monthly, the tavern stocks more than 30 canned beers in addition to a healthy selection on tap.
Patrons can enjoy the expansive exposed brick dining area or build a nest in the elevated living room loft, complete with comfy couches and leather chairs. Brix delivers on entertainment with flat-screen TVs, live musicians Thursdays, DJ sets on weekends, pool, and retro arcade games.
DeNicola's Italian Restaurant sprung up more than 30 years ago and leverages culinary experience to piece together appetizing Neapolitan- and Little Italy–inspired platters engineered from authentic Italian recipes. Instead of using their expertise to help children cheat on quizzes about the international wheat market, DeNicola’s chefs revolutionize humdrum pastas such as linguine by inventing a Linguine by the Sea tossed with seven sautéed prawns and seasoned with garlic, romano cheese, and lemon pepper. On the dessert menu, chocolate seduction cakes lure tongues into a sultry tango with its three layers of malleable sweetness.
Owner Giorgio Kawas’s love of cooking blossomed in his mother’s kitchen in Ferrara, Italy, and was honed during extensive trainings in Italy, France, and New York. Just like one’s eye color, Giorgio’s menu changes daily, so the roster of organic and seasonal ingredients used are as fresh as possible. Inside the restaurant’s kitchen, Giorgio’s executive chef, Peter Schuh, works hard to craft handmade pastas including gnocchi and pappardelle that set the stage for northern-Italian dishes. Sampling the libations presented by an extensive wine list helps to cleanse palates more effectively than saying the cleanest words in the English language.