Old habits die hard for the Delgardios. The family opened its first pizzeria in 1937, setting up shop along Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. This New York connection remained so strong that when the Delgardio family opened a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale in 1976, they chose to name it GG's of New York.
The third generation of family members now runs the casual, family-style pizzeria and Italian eatery, using decades-old recipes to prepare everything from lasagna and manicotti to shrimp scampi and veal Milanese. Thick, Sicilian-style pizzas can emerge from the ovens with as many as 18 different toppings, or even handfuls of the available gourmet toppings, including steak and calamari.
From the red-checkered tablecloths to the black-and-white photographs on the brick walls, GG's of New York aims to create an inviting, homestyle vibe. According to the Sun Sentinel, "it's like having a meal at your Italian grandparents' home—even if you're not Italian."
Although best known for its hand-tossed pizzas made from dough baked fresh daily, Esposito's Pizza complements its marinara-doused mandalas with a delectable array of Italianate appetizers and entrees. The Four Seasons pizza (14", $17.49) arranges a baroque quartet of artichoke, mushrooms, ham, and onion atop a stage of cheese, and the meat-combo pizza (14", $17.49) packs in enough animal flesh to legally be considered livestock. Otherwise, put an artist's signature on your own pizza ($8+) by pairing pepperoni, spinach, and mushrooms with more adventurous flavors such as pineapple, jalapeños, and moon rock. Esposito's accommodates boot-shaped appetites as well as circular ones with the Taste of Italy's tour of chicken-cutlet parmigiana, meatballs, and baked ziti ($15.95).
The cooks at Cannoli Kitchen shepherd every plate from conception to consumption on the premises to fill their menu with fresh pizzas, pastas, and Italian desserts to feed parties of any size. Large tomato-basil pies ($17.99) eclipse tables and stars that are 18 inches in diameter, and pasta prisms of baked meat lasagna ($8.49) arrive flanked by a slice of garlic bread and a house salad or side of escarole and beans. Families can sit in or pick up spinach and broccoli stromboli ($6.49) and bubbling eggplant-parmesan subs ($6.99) to munch on in the comfort of their home. Crown meals with a toothsome top hat of creamy, chocolate-dipped cannoli ($2.79 each, $27 dozen). From the catering menu, a large tray of spaghetti marinara ($55) serves 10–12 hungry noodle twirlers, and orders of mozzarella sticks ($45) arrive in 50-piece increments to stock parties or edible Jenga tournaments.
“The standard question down here is, ‘Don’t you ever get tired of doing this?’ And we always say, ‘It’s better than working’,” Captain Gary Bobrick says in a Sun Sentinel video. It's easy to believe that he enjoys his job because it usually involves piloting a sightseeing boat through Fort Lauderdale's river ways to point out celebrity mansions and massive luxury boats. In addition to views of prime real estate, his tours often afford glimpses of flitting manatees and iguanas lounging along the shores. On the vessel’s lower level, patrons can congregate in an air-conditioned dining room and replenish with tropical punch and ice cream. Along the way, Captain Bobrick or his tour guides impart anecdotes about cultural heavyweights, as well as the role waterways play in fueling the region’s legendary water-balloon fights.
Beneath proudly fluttering Italian and American flags, handcrafted New York–style pizzas and time-tested Italian dishes emerge from Johnny's New York Pizza's kitchen. From an outdoor patio, crispy thin crusts launch steam from homemade dough and fistfuls of toppings including mushrooms, genoa salami, and eggplant. Pasta strands teem with mussels, calamari marinara, or grilled chicken, and cold and hot hero sandwiches conceal veal cutlet and cheese-steak fixings. Checkered tables beg for customers to linger with marinara-festooned meals, and readymade pizza slices allow patrons to hastily pick up a meal or something to wave at passing ships to prove they have pizza.