A trio of cheerful New Yorkers oversees the pasta purveying at Cucina Orecchio, where Chef Cristian Marquez stuffs a robust menu with classic Italian cuisine until it bursts at the seams. A palate-whetting troupe of appetizers touts New York–style baked clams, which arrive donning a tangy mix of seasonings and zesty Knicks jerseys ($9). Pasta entrees—which are served with a cup of soup or a house salad—range from the smooth and creamy penne alla vodka ($13) to the thick and meaty rigatoni bolognese ($14). Seafarers cast their anchors alongside the seafood fra diavolo with linguini ($16), and meat-seekers occupy their mandibles with daily specials such as the veal marsala ($15). Wash down a plate of authentic Italian eats with splashes of wine by the bottle or glass.
When Giuseppe and Rita Brusco sailed from Calabria to Ellis Island in 1954, they toted their trove of family recipes along with them. Today, owner Frank Brusco upholds this culinary legacy at Brusco's Italian Restaurant & Pizza. Homestyle sauces are central to their menu: chefs simmer vine-ripened tomatoes with fresh garlic, extra virgin olive oil, white wine, and butter before ladling the thick, preservative-free marinara atop pastas and Sicilian-style pizzas.
In addition to the authentic cuisine, Brusco's pays homage to its founders’ Italian roots with a trattoria-style dining room. Antique copperware festoons the brick walls, and murals of the Italian countryside treat guests to idyllic representations of rolling foothills populated by free-roaming meatballs.
Ruby's Pizza augments a menu of specialty meat and vegetable pies with classic pasta, chicken, and seafood entrees. Dining duos can split 10-piece chicken-wings appetizers and pick from five sweet or spicy sauces. The margarita pizza marries tomato and basil on a cheesy round dance floor, and the meat-lovers pizza piles sausage, pepperoni, ham, ground beef, and bacon onto a thick, crunchy base. Those looking to create their own pizza masterpieces can pick 2 toppings from 15, including meatball, ground beef, and pineapple. The chicken piccata—sautéed in a lemon, butter, and wine sauce—comes flanked with pasta on the side, and baked ziti dons homemade tomato sauce and two cheeses. Meals can be complemented with imported beers or wines such as a FishEye pinot grigio 2010, ideal for making a toast to finally completing a best-selling novel about a talking ballpoint pen.
The sauce painters at this easy-breezy beachside eatery fortify bellies with hearty appetizers and triangular morsels of pizza all through lunch and dinner hours. Diners can nosh on a dough disc featuring the bare essentials—tomato tears and cheese—or enhance their pie with selections from more than 20 toppings (an additional $1.75 each, not included with this Groupon). Customers weary from trying to secretly sew slices back together with needle and tongue can take a quick breather and elegantly lift their pinkies while sipping a well cocktail or glass of house wine. Alternatively, throats may acquire hydration from a bottle of domestic or imported beer or a gulp of the nearby ocean. Groups looking to orally mangle more than a large pizza can also enjoy an order of chicken wings, which arrive at tables accompanied by bleu cheese. If you’re seated inside, affix your eyes to one of Stingers Pizza's 25 TVs, which allow diners to easily catch sporting events and drop the ball during argumentative conversations about paying attention.
Bringing the well-known tasty tomato sauce and authentic Old World flavors of G'Vanni's on Boston's North End down to South Florida, G'Vanni's On The Green serves piquant fare within warm, comfortable confines. G'Vanni's dinner menu is full of hearty Italian cuisine and fancy foreign words. Tongue temptations include pan-seared jumbo lump crabcakes with basil and balsamic glaze ($12.99) and pumpkin ravioli ($16.99), which exorcises pasta poltergeists with a delicious burnt-butter sage sauce. G'Vanni's prosciutto-layered veal valdostano muffles nagging cravings and belly-inhabiting punk bands with fontina cheese, artichoke, foraged mushrooms, and a marsala demi-glaze ($19.99). As you savor the cuisine of Puccini, Pavarotti, and plumbing video-game brothers, sip something elegant from G'Vanni's impressive wine list.