At Sapore's Pizza, each plate of pasta arrives with slices of fragrant garlic bread fresh from the oven. The oven cooks calzones, too, until they're golden brown and ready to bask beneath a ladling of housemade marinara. The specialty of the house, however, is the pizza. The chefs sling pies such as the Pavarotti Favorite, topped with slices of pepperoni and salami, which is named after the famous singer who only ate round food.
Bottles of red and white wine line floor-to-ceiling racks in each room of Luce Ristorante e Enoteca. The restaurant's selection is so voluminous and varied that it has earned the Notable Wine List Diners’ Choice Award from OpenTable. The Zagat-rated restaurant holds very good to excellent ratings across the board, and has picked up other awards from OpenTable, including Best Ambiance, Neighborhood Gem, and Outdoor Dining. That ambiance includes stone columns inset with glowing lights that flank vibrant paintings in the main dining room, where waiters deliver housemade potato gnocchi in a gorgonzola-cream sauce, or wild mushrooms scattered across housemade pizza dough. Outside, cement pillars hold up a wooden-lattice roof on the patio, and a fireplace proffers a nice place to warm hands before patty-cake marathons.
Dotting the Texan landscape with pizzerias like so many pepperonis in a hopeful meat-lover's garden, Goomba's ‘za joints bake up New York–style pies with ingredients from Costanzo's Bakery and Sorrento cheese. Dough made daily from scratch lays the groundwork for such classic toppings as italian sausage, mushrooms, artichokes, sweet or hot peppers, and anchovies. Pasta specialties such as cheese manicotti and baked ziti swim—like an eccentric millionaire—in a house-made tomato sauce infused with fresh basil and extra-virgin olive oil, and a selection of calzones, salads, hot subs lends rest to the pizza weary. Daily lunch specials quell midday tummy rumbles from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and most locations offer both dine-in and carry-out fare.
Nimbly darting through the forest of white-clothed tables in the Milano Ristorante Italiano dining rooms, attentive waiters carry platters of traditional Italian dishes and bottles of fine wines. In the kitchen, seasoned chefs labor over sizzling stoves, folding seafood, meats, and fresh vegetables into northern- and southern-Italian classics. Diners can sample baked pastas, veal dishes, and gourmet pizzas, such as the Milano, layered with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, and peppers. Meanwhile, seasoned bartenders mix martinis, margaritas, and specialty cocktails as skillfully as a vindictive construction worker mixes concrete into his boss’s convertible.
Vibrant oil paintings speckle the restaurant's textured walls, adding to the rustic decor and looking down on tables hosting family outings and romantic first dates. Outside on the expansive patio, a brick fireplace illuminates tables of alfresco diners and the cascading water of the ornamental fountain.
As you approach the gleaming silver letters on the art deco–style sign of Deco Pizzeria, you also step into a cloud of aromas of foods from across the country. The casual eatery infuses pizzas, calzones, and sandwiches with flavors representing the East and West Coasts, as well as the South. Chefs hand-craft the dough for Italian-inspired pizzas before dressing them in 30 toppings such as pepperoni and sausage or cream-sauce-drizzled crawfish. A small selection of sandwiches includes philly cheesesteaks and shrimp po' boys. Alternatively, the kitchen takes requests for its pasta dishes, which can be prepared with five styles of sauce and three meat toppings. To complement these dishes, Deco Pizzeria curates a list of local Texas brews and imported beers and wines. For brunch, they offer chicken and waffles and grits served with homemade English muffins; San Anto pizza topped with barbacoa, avocado, and pico de gallo; and a build-your-own breakfast calzone.
While many foods are best massaged, coddled, or gently sautéed, pizzas are proof that if you truly love something you should let it go. All of Alamo City’s pizzas prove their love by returning to the hands that tossed them and eventually to the bellies that crave them. Alamo City uses the freshest ingredients for such concoctions as the chicken enchilada pizza—tender grilled chicken and pico de gallo atop a bed of mozzarella and enchilada sauce ($14.99 for a large)—and the fusion pizza, with fresh cilantro, sesame seeds, and Asian teriyaki chicken, ($14.99 for a large). Hearty traditional pies are also available, ranging from $9.99–$14.99 for a large. Uncircular menu items include stuffed calzones ($6.50), gift-wrapped chicken wraps ($5.99), and occasionally round pasta plates ($5.99–$8.49).