Bricks can do more than prevent a curmudgeonly wolf from blowing down your building—they can comprise an oven that makes that building swell with the scent of ambrosial paninis. At 202 Italian Bistro, a wood-burning brick oven churns out the best of Northern Italian cooking techniques and recipes, from tilapia in coconut to veal doused in a marsala wine sauce. In addition to pizza crusts sprinkled with grilled chicken and tomatoes dried by a sun—no telling which sun—the dining room’s soft lighting illuminates pork chops delivered to guests at linen-topped tables.
Since 1985, Anthony Marra has treated patrons to the same traditional eats that he grew up with, based on recipes brought from Italy by his Nonna Rose and Papa Tony. Each day his deli tables populate with prosciutto, broccoli rabe, and sundried tomatoes in gourmet sandwiches, many available hot or cold, and side dishes such as meatballs, sweet fryer peppers, and seasonal stuffed artichokes complement hand-tossed, gooey pizzas in a variety of sizes. For those seeking catering for a private party, Marra’s offers traditional Italian pastas and meats sautéed in wine by the tray-full, or by the bathtub-full for those seeking to be fully immersed in Italian culture.
The Village Inn may look like an simple country kitchen, but the food is nothing short of gourmet. Chef and owner John A. Martino calls on his training at the Culinary Institute of America and Le Cordon Bleu to craft a menu of contemporary American Continental cuisine, which ranges from potato-crusted Chilean sea bass to a veal porterhouse topped with sautéed mushrooms. After the chef inspects the dishes for quality, presentation, and political leanings, they emerge from the kitchen to waft gourmet scents through four separate dining areas. Everyday diners sidle up to white-clothed tables amid floral carpets and drapes in the Fireplace Room, while top-shelf liquors come together to form a host of creative cocktails in the wood-lined bar. For private occasions, groups of up to 20 gather at a long oak table beneath the cozy, low ceilings of the Wine Cellar Room, and large events bask in the glow of a towering chandelier in the bright and airy expanse of The Great Room.
Amore Cucina provides diners a romantic Southern Italian meal without having to book a plane ticket to Naples. Fresh, made-to-order dishes include housemade pastas with veal, chicken, and seafood served along side burgers and sandwiches. Guests may nosh crispy bites of calamari balsamico before feasting on signature plates of orecchiette alla barese, a homemade pasta dish tossed with garlic and olive oil and crowned with sausage, broccoli rabe, and pepper flakes. Friendly servers also carry plates of mussels and sliders downstairs, where the restaurant's Pub 611 combines a bistro and a sports bar.