Ever since the Philly cheesesteak courted Memphis ribs and gave birth to the Phyllis cheese rib, intercity culinary marriages have been hotter than a mojito in 2006. Today's Groupon exemplifies this richly intermingled tradition with $20 worth of Chi-nnati's Pizza in Madeira for $10. Expose your palate to the cheesy depths of Chicago-style pizza without once violating Indiana's travel ban.
Tucked away near Kenwood Towne Center, Rusty's Ristorante hosts classic American and Italian fine dining in a down-to-earth casual atmosphere. Commence culinary expeditions with a combo platter of starters, which unites cheese, onion rings, and wings in a mission to whet appetites, or the winterized mushrooms, flavorful fungi sautéed and snuggling under a blanket of melted provolone to protect themselves from cold winds and door-to-door snow-plow salesmen.
Aromas of roasting pine nuts, pesto sauces, and baking lasagna fill the air as chefs at Ferrari’s Little Italy and Bakery craft traditional Italian fare according to the owners' family recipes. They sprinkle the signature insalata Ferrari with cranberries, pine nuts, and gorgonzola cheese and top the pollo basilico's roasted chicken with rigatoni, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto cream sauce. Additionally, a pair of bakers slides around 150 loaves of fresh focaccia bread into their ovens each day, yielding slices topped with three colors of bell peppers, spinach, and gorgonzola cheese. These appear in glass bakery cases alongside pastries and artisan gelato from local dessert makers Madisono’s Gelato and Sorbet.
Inside Ferrari's multiple dining areas, gas fireplaces flicker among exposed-brick walls, and family photos help create a homey feel. On the outdoor patio, fragrant wisteria vines climb a wooden pergola, and a picturesque fountain quietly babbles recommendations from the wine list.
At Roc-A-Fellas Pizza, chefs make the day's batch of dough from scratch and blend crushed tomatoes, garlic, sour cream, and Romano cheese into a tangy sauce. They take the traditional New York approach to pizza, hand-tossing the dough, dressing the crust with sauce and toppings, baking it in a stone oven, and branding the final product with a map of the subway system. They also whip up Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and homemade cookies. All proceeds go to Self-Sustaining Enterprises, an organization that fights domestic and international poverty.
Hyde Park Pizzaria specializes in NY-style pies, baked to crispy, thin-crust perfection in brick ovens. Chefs produce fresh, homemade dough daily for their pizzas and top them with the freshest ingredients, including tomatoes so alive they frequently escape from the store and hurl themselves at unfortunate actors. Pizzas range from $6 for a small plain (9”) to $11 for a large plain (15”). You can also order up the brood-pleasing plain family size (14”x18”) for $14. All your favorite toppings, from pepperoni to jalapeno peppers, are available for extra. Specialty pies range from $8.50 for a small to $16.50 for a large, or $19.75 for family size. The Meat Supreme comes loaded with the fruit of the beasts: tons of pepperoni, sausage, ham, bacon, and extra cheese. You can order up a rival pizza with the Veggie Supreme, holding mushrooms, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, green olives, and extra cheese. The Meatball comes with homemade meatballs, and the Deluxe Seven features a most-wanted combo of pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, bacon, and extra cheese. It is certifiably the most delicious number-based food, except possibly algebra flash cards dipped in marinara.
Pasquale Giammarco grew up working in his parents' pizzeria, which they opened after emigrating from Italy to the United States when Pasquale was 9. In 1978, adult Pasquale opened his own pizzeria, Marco’s Pizza, where he continued to top pies in the sauce recipe he and his father refined together. Beyond the sauce, which harmoniously blends three types of vine-ripened tomatoes, Pasquale perfected his dough—made fresh daily—and his cheese, which never saw a freezer before bedecking a pizza.
Nowadays, Marco’s Pizza’s brand has spread to more than 250 stores scattered across 21 states. Their specialty pies—whose diameters extend up to 16 inches—emerge from the oven in variants such as the Meat Supremo, topped with pepperoni, ham, italian sausage, and bacon, or a vegetarian style complete with mushrooms, olives, and tomatoes. Alternatively, patrons can customize their pizza toppings to please their unique palates, which may register salt as sweetness or sweetness as a telltale sign that the tooth fairy is hiding behind their molars. Wings in three flavors complement the pizzas, along with freshly baked hoagies and verdant salads.