At The Pizza Grille of Mystic, chefs grill freshly tossed dough over a wood-fired grill, then layer the thin, crispy discs with gourmet toppings such as ricotta, wild mushrooms, and fresh herbs. Though the namesake entree puts a creative spin on pizza dough, most dishes cleave closely to traditional Italian recipes. Chefs load calzones with housemade tomato sauce and nearly 2-dozen fillings, the same number of fillings found in the mouth of the average sugar-company owner. The kitchen team also tosses pastas with wood-grilled meats and from-scratch marinara sauce.
At Pizzeria DaVinci, the signature house pizza—aptly named the Da Vinci—is a vegetarian one, piled with spinach, sun-dried tomato, and feta. However, there's plenty of meat options on the pizzeria's menu, too. There are 16 thin-crust pizzas to choose from, each baked on a hot stone and topped with delicacies from baked potato fixings to clams and bacon.
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.
Pizzeria DaVinci's menu is home to golden calzones and classic grinders, but the restaurant is known best for its thin-crust pizzas made from fresh dough. Because they're cooked on top of a blazing-hot stone, the pies develop a crisp crust that lays the foundation for gourmet toppings such as meatballs, smoked bacon, and gorgonzola cheese.
The Original Famous Pizza opened in 1975, but it's hard to imagine Westerly ever existing without it. Such is the extent to which the DiFazio family has worked their way into the local culture, simply by baking pizza after delicious pizza. Sure, the founding family took some time away from the business, but now they're back and ready to toss more pies at a new location with a larger dining room and a more expansive menu.
Pizza, as always, is the name of the game here. There's no shortage of varieties to choose from, starting with the classic Sicilian. But the further down the menu you go, the more creative options you're likely to find. Taco pizzas, Greek pizzas, and Philly cheesesteak pizzas. Along with these flagship pies, The Original Famous Pizza serves signature grinders and traditional Italian pastas.