Since 1997, 3rd Street Pizza Company has fused food and film into a ready-made night out. On one side of the business, hand-tossed dough is fired atop hot stones, which yields crisp New York–style pizzas topped with a signature blend of mozzarella, provolone, and monterey jack cheeses. Sauce options also reach beyond the standard red to include thai peanut, pesto, and garlic parmesan. The pies anchor a menu that features calzones, sandwiches, and microbrews, all of which can be taken into showings at Moonlight Theater. Recent releases stretch out across a full-size movie screen that teams up with a 12-speaker surround-sound system as high-tech as the ones judges use to make their verdicts extra scary. The restaurant also supports arts beyond film and pizza—a dining-room wall functions as a rotating gallery space, and live musicians occasionally play during dinner.
More than 50 years go, Mike Ilitch was poised for major-league glory. An up-and-coming shortstop for the Detroit Tigers, his baseball finesse was blossoming when an injury derailed his sports career. But although the wound stunted his athletic aspirations, it steered him toward a new path, and on May 8, 1959, he and his wife opened the first Little Caesars location, a then-unheard-of carry-out-only joint. The career shift and novel technique eventually proved triumphant. Today, the pizzeria's iconic, toga-clad mascot adorns storefronts on five continents. In each shop, staffers forge the signature Hot-N-Ready pizza, a freshly baked pizza designed for instant pickup, and warm, garlicky Crazy bread. With a storied half century under their belt, Mike Ilitch and his family strive to give back, supporting local organizations and creating their own charitable programs.
Despite its name, Ye Olde Pizza Shoppe whips up innovative culinary creations that won't be found at pizza joints of yore. Menu items such as the chili cheese fry pizza and the black knight pizza smothered with ham and sauerkraut beckon adventurous palates, as do other novel toppings such as peanuts and oysters. But it's not all experimental at the shoppe. Classic offerings abound and include vegetarian pizzas, barbecue sandwiches, tuna melts, and mozzarella sticks.
The Village Pizza Ristorante serves up piping-hot specialty pies, calzones, and Italian treats fashioned from closely guarded home recipes that fill the quirky, reclaimed-furniture-filled dining room with rich tomatoey perfume. Cooks forge the Blacksmith Special on an anvil of luscious pizza dough, made fresh daily, beating the pie into shape with meaty hammers of sausage, pepperoni, and crisp veggies ($15–$22). The Lamp Lighter pizza’s parmesan, feta, and provolone passengers melt and bubble atop a warm sea of garlic olive-oil sauce brimming with mushroom and artichoke reefs and aggressive schools of toothy sundried tomatoes ($16–$23). A fresh bread hammock gently rocks tender pepperoni, canadian bacon, and sausage to sleep, wrapped in a blanket of house-made marinara sauce and gooey mozzarella cheese, the edibles blissfully unaware of their impending ingestion as the pizza sub sandwich ($6.50). For a sweet finish, the restaurant serves up root-beer floats ($3), its cool ice cream ferrying 24 ounces of effervescent Mug root beer up straws on sweet, creamy pillows to diners’ pearly or braces-reinforced gates.
“We had reserved a window spot and watched the birds and boats on the lake until dark,” wrote a reporter for the Statesman Journal after a visit to Caruso’s Italian Café & Wine Bar. The view of Staas Lake, visible from almost every seat in the house, was instrumental in landing the eatery a spot on the newspaper’s Best of list in 2011 and 2012. With his wife Angie in charge of hospitality, chef Jerry Phipps brings years of culinary experience to bear on northern Italian cuisine. In addition to pastas such as linguine and prawns, Phipps sautés halibut in a sherry-wine reduction and pairs milk-fed veal with mushrooms and light marsala sauce.
Fairy lights encircle the ceiling of the dining room, adding to the soft luminescence playing off of the burnished gold walls. Visitors chat with glasses of wine and small plates in the wine room’s sumptuous armchairs and loveseats alongside stuffed trophy beanbags. Beneath a wide pergola outside, silverware clatters merrily against the murmur of a stone fountain.
The founders of Garlic Jim's Famous Gourmet Pizza banded together with a common goal in mind: to craft handmade, gourmet pizzas and deliver them to your door as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality. Now, they uphold that promise at more than 20 locations throughout the western United States, consistently serving up custom or specialty pies slathered with handmade sauce pressed from vine-ripened tomatoes. Even the cheese is held to high standards, with 100% whole-milk mozzarella only produced by cows that got a perfect score on their SATs.