Danny Boy's is a neighborhood, Rat Pack–themed Italian foodery with walls covered in records and photos of Frank Sinatra. Start a meal with garlic bread with cheese ($6.99) while perusing a classic Italian menu, which features salads, woogie melts, Rat Pack pizza starters, and more. The Hammy Davis Jr. stuffs sliced ham, ricotta, feta, fresh basil, tomatoes, house Italian dressing, cheddar, and crumbled bleu cheese into a baked doughy monument ($7.99). Frank's appetizer pizza pie is wall-to-wall EVOO, pepperoni, cheese, black olives, tomatoes, ricotta, and Italian spices ($8.99), and a plain cheese pizza ($9.99/six piece) can be customized with toppings, such as mushrooms, pineapple, and Canadian bacon. Uptown toppings, such as meatballs, artichoke hearts, and grilled shrimp ($1.50–$7.50) turn any standard disc into a visually stimulating feast.
At Demico's Pizzeria, chefs assemble fresh ingredients into an extensive menu of classic Italian dishes. Gourmet toppings such as roasted barbeque chicken, ricotta cheese, or fresh Roma tomatoes speckle thin and New-York-style pizza crusts, and thickly sliced Italian breads enfold meats and vegetables in panini. Bright red walls beam down onto the dining room’s checkered floors and tabletops, and delivery services bring freshly made feasts directly to a customer's home, business, or spot in the tilt-a-whirl line.
Since 1966, Italo's Pizza has presented diners with authentic Italian cuisine crafted from timeworn family recipes. Crust craftsmen knead and flatten fresh lumps of dough to remove pesky air bubbles and ensure slices don't levitate over dinner plates. Next, cooks swathe the pie foundation with sauce that contains a spice blend made especially for the restaurant, before festooning cheesy canvases with the customer's choice of topping. Italo's offers diners more than 15 pizza ornaments, including pizzeria fixtures such as pepperoni and mushrooms, as well as unique options including tuna and jalapeño peppers. Italo's meticulous pie prodigies also allow patrons to decide how their pizza should be cut, be it in slices, squares, or letterboxed director's versions.
Aromas of house-made meat sauce and sweet italian sausage waft from Casa Perfetto’s kitchen, where chefs busily pan sear seafood and drizzle olive oil over handmade pastas. Sautéed onions, prosciutto, and spinach swim in a jacuzzi bath of house wine sauce beside the chicken ala florentine ($18.99), and two links of grilled italian sausage ($16.95) cross out cravings for meat alongside onions and peppers. The shrimp marinara’s pan-seared sea candies dive into drizzled nets of extra-virgin olive oil ($17.95), and gnocchi dumplings served with a hearty helping of meat sauce ($14.95) hearken back to the potato-based ammunition of early Roman catapults.
To reach their table at Spaghetti Warehouse, guests commonly have to step through two doors: the front door of the restaurant and the door of the antique trolley parked inside. Since its inception in 1972, the Italian eatery has merged the functions of kitchen and museum. Artifacts such as grandfather clocks, factory flywheels, and circus billboards surround diners as they delve into signature plates of 15-Layer Lasagna or hand-rolled meatballs. Apart from the items they've amassed, each of the buildings also has a particular history, from the one-time ice-manufacturing plant in Columbus to Memphis's Civil War munitions depot. Given their storied pasts, it's no surprise that several of these venues house their own ghosts—at Houston's warehouse, for example, elevator lights have been known to flicker, objects are mysteriously found in new locations, and a lady in a white gown is said to roam the restaurant.
Yet the main attraction of the place is the delicious food. Like any great Italian meal, made-from-scratch dishes are created from family recipes passed down for generations via email. Guests devour the perfectly al dente pasta, crispy calamari, bottomless soups, and 12-layer chocolate cakes while dining with family and friends. It’s that feeling of togetherness that people love about Spaghetti Warehouse, a feeling that is only enhanced when the drinks start flowing and the air is punctuated by the sounds of laughter as kids play retro games, such as The Claw prize-grabbing machine.
At age 14, Michael Kidd and Cristopher Malita worked side-by-side at a local pizzeria and dreamed about what they might do differently if they owned one themselves. Today, more than 10 years later, they put their ideas into practice at Pudgies Eatery. The pair builds each pizza on a handmade crust rendered more flavorful by a special blend of rosemary and spices. Their roster of specialty pies includes the Pulled Pudgie pizza with barbecue sauce, pulled pork, cheddar, and onion, as well as the chicken bacon ranch pizza with white sauce and tomatoes. Instead of pitching them into a catcher's glove, the cooks toss chicken wings into housemade sauces ranging in flavor from Mississippi mustard and garlic parmesan to hot teriyaki. The kitchen team rounds out the menu with sub sandwiches stuffed with philly steak or meatballs and soft, fresh baked cinnamon rolls.
Following the lead of Paris-trained owner and chef Mike Mariola, City Square's skilled cooks quench carnivorous cravings with Chicago-style steakhouse fare. The menu invites patrons to warm up mouth muscles with a cup of the signature seafood bisque ($6.75–$9.25) or dive into a dish of homemade parmesan-cheese fries drizzled in truffle oil ($8.50). Meat seekers may partake in succulent slabs of USDA choice or prime beef, such as the 10-ounce peppered strip steak smothered in shallot sauce ($26.95), 12-ounce rib eye ($26.95), or Filet Oscar, a mixed bag of twin filet-mignon medallions caught up in a whirlwind of crabmeat, asparagus, and political intrigue ($28.95). Vegetarians can chew on the caesar salad ($6.50) or garden pasta, a mélange of vegetables served over freshly made penne in a garlic white-wine sauce ($16.95), and an extensive beer, wine, and martini list summons intrepid imbibers to cap off any meal with liquid-induced warm fuzzies.