The robust dinner menu at Ristorante Il Porcino showcases the chefs' passion for natural ingredients and authentic Italian cuisine. Save fruit from the ignominious demise of being tossed at a clown with the prosciutto melone, which pairs fresh-cut melon, thin slices of prosciutto, parmesan cheese, and balsamic vinegar ($7.95). Pasta plates such as the vegetarian-friendly ravioli alla crema di noci tuck spinach and ricotta inside pillows of homemade ravioli beneath a blanket by a walnut cream sauce ($10.95). Meat-seeking mouths can nosh on the vitello de la casa ($13.95), with prosciutto and fresh mozzarella cheese nuzzled alongside hefty sautéed veal medallions opulently torn from rappers’ necklaces. Walls lined with shelves of wine selections surround patrons with vine-grown meal-pairing options.
At Pasta Q, chefs roll out homemade pastas and gnocchi and douse their doughy exteriors with creamy sauces and redolent spices. Eighteen diverse pasta renditions share table space with classic Italian-style meats buffered by roasted potatoes. An eclectic selection of imported Italian wines pair with bites, and homemade desserts ease the burden of spaghetti strands trying to shape themselves into the form of tiramisu. The menu’s Mediterranean flourishes extend to the décor, with its deep-burgundy and mustard-yellow walls punctuated by mosaic-tiled benches and billowy white fabric suspended from the ceiling.
Frankie, Johnnie & Luigi Too! has been a classic Italian eatery since 1956, from the family-style meals and traditional dishes down to the red-checkered tablecloths. The building that houses its original restaurant in Mountain View has been around since the 1920s, and it has vacillated from a speakeasy to a coffee shop to its current state as a friendly Italian restaurant. At each of the company’s five locations, chefs masterfully toss pizza dough in the air to create specialty pies such as the vegetarian fantasy or seafood ecstasy, piled with scallops, shrimp, clams, and high concentrations of euphoria. The intoxicating aromas of garlic and marinara waft through the air as families and friends enjoy meals of house-made meatballs, New York-style Italian sausage, and veal scaloppini.
Patxi's Chicago Pizza is a Best Pizza of the Bay Area establishment that caters to indulgent pizza partiers and intimate diners alike. Printed on resilient pizza dough, Patxi's menu features a build-your-own arsenal of toppings, such as feta cheese, green bell peppers, Italian sausage, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, salami, zucchini, soy cheese, and much more, available atop Chicago–style crusts ($14.45 for a 10" before toppings) and thin crusts ($9.95 for a 10" before toppings).