In the kitchen of Nuzzo's Apizza, third-generation pizza maker Barry Nuzzo and his team of cooks prepare thin-crust New Haven-style pizzas and Sicilian-style pies layered with ricotta cheese. Patrons can choose from toppings such as bacon, clams, or red peppers roasted on-site, or opt for a specialty pie: the Eggplant Rollatine, for example, which combines eggplant, marinara, ham, ricotta, and Parmesan. The cooks also make gluten-free pizzas, pasta dishes, and submarine sandwiches.
Passed from Andy Saldamarco to Tom DeLuca, Saldamarco’s Deli has been a fixture in the community for 33 years, and DeLuca carries on Andy's recipes as he serves up many of the same sandwiches and hot foods such as eggplant parm, chicken parm, meatballs, and sausage and peppers that have kept it a local staple. Saldamarco's was also voted #1 best Italian Deli in the 2013 Best of Shoreline Readers' Poll, #2 for best soups, and #3 for best salads. Freshness is a priority, as all salads are made fresh including tuna salad with Hellman's Mayo and the Deli grinds their own beef with no additives. Housemade roast beef adds tasty weight to soft sub rolls, and freshly cut steaks and pork roasts line the butcher's case alongside strands of housemade italian sausage that are great for grilling in the summer or exercising when a jump rope is unavailable.
The aroma of freshly baked bread often wafts from the kitchen of La Vita Gustosa, greeting guests who step through the restaurant's window-paneled doors. That scent mingles with others as chef James Wilder sautés plump, opened clams in olive oil, crushed red pepper, and white wine, braises bone-in pork shank for tender osso bucco, and drizzles balsamic glaze over hand-cut new york strip steaks. Rich sauces cling to strands of linguini and orecchiette "ears," and fresh produce from local farms tops New Haven–style thin-crust pizzas.
After enjoying a meal at the eatery, whose polished wood bar complements sunny yellow walls, one Hartford Courant writer described La Vita Gustosa's ambiance as "classy, romantic, casual, warm and inviting." In warm weather, diners can relax on an outdoor patio with a clear view of Connecticut River and Goodspeed Opera Theater. Live bands, dance parties, and spontaneous reenactments of Broadway musicals keep the fun going long after dinner has ended.
Primo Pizza's chefs smother a menu of thick-crust, Italian-style pies with a cornucopia of traditional and creative toppings. Like the great zambonis of ancient Italy, cooks roll out dough on-site daily, unveiling smooth stages of large, 16-inch pies draped in a sumptuous, saucy curtain made of custom spices and whole, peeled tomatoes. A dance floor of fresh-cut mozzarella completes the scene, which Primo Pizza's resident epicureans craft from whole milk into seamless swaths of rich, creamy flavor. Accent cornerless comestibles with a choice of up to six toppings from Primo Pizza’s savory options, which include such classic pie pleasers as sausage, pepperoni, and mushrooms alongside more adventurous choices such as steak, hot cherry peppers, and clams. This Groupon is valid for dine-in, carry-out, or teleported orders only.
The flavors of northern and southern Italy can be tasted from across the Atlantic at Stella D'oro. What seems like an impressive feat is actually quite simple: chef Sammy Cecunjanin just follows his family recipes. Dishes include classic pairings such as rigatoni, sausage, and white wine sauce, as well as heartier eats such as rack of lamb with a cognac sauce roasted into the meat. Unsurprisingly, lobster—which is the East Coast's official regional crustacean—finds its way onto the seafood-heavy menu by way of the lobster-filled ravioli, the lobster and pappardelle, and the lobster tail and linguini.
Villano’s Restaurant’s kitchen crew knows that if it ain’t broke, they shouldn’t fix it. That’s why they honor traditional preparations of Tuscan cuisine, which they pair with selections from a packed wine menu, to give guests a classic Italian culinary experience. Fresh ingredients go into baked gnocchi, lobster ravioli, and veal parmigiana, while crispy pizzas make their way from brick ovens to tables.