The "wood-fired pizza has us fired up about Bella Luna Trattoria," declared the Pittsburgh City Paper after its reviewers sampled the thin-crust pies pulled from the restaurant's blazing oven. Chefs adorn these doughy creations, available in sizes ranging from an 8-inch mini to a 14-inch large, with red or white sauces and an arsenal of traditional and inventive toppings. On the stovetop, freshly made angel hair, fettuccine, and linguine bathe in marinara, bolognese, and alfredo sauces, and the frying pan imbues cutlets of hand-breaded eggplant parmigiana with a golden tan worthy of the Italian Riviera.
In business since 1959, Rudy’s Subs specializes in one thing: freshly prepared subs. Of the more than 30 varieties, combos such as the cheesesteak, meatball, or ham and cheese can be ordered as half or whole subs, folded into a wheat, spinach, tomato, or plain wrap, or loaded into a slingshot and fired straight into the customer’s mouth. Rudy’s franchises span three distinct concepts—sub-only stores; stores offering subs, fries, and Vincent’s pizza; and those with a license to sell alcohol.
Thanks to its menu of traditional Italian and American cuisine and a grand ballroom that hosts up to 180 guests, Pugliano’s Italian Grill proves an equally appropriate setting for casual family dinners and elegant wedding receptions. Groups of all sizes and relations come together over piping-hot plates of eggplant parmesan and heaps of fresh spaghetti slathered in a savory blend of ripe tomatoes, onions, and herb marinara. The restaurant staff rises to meet the demands of special occasions with party packages that spoil guests with a buffet or table service, an open bar, and a champagne toast—not to mention discounted rates at the hotel across the street. DJs spin in the main dining room on weekends, and the grand ballroom boasts audiovisual gear that comes in handy during parties or customary viewings of the groom's dental x-rays.
Sammy's Kebab House welcomes patrons into its world of Indian-Pakistani fare seven days a week. Diners sit atop wooden chairs as they devour meals ranging from kebabs to curries, all aptly paired with tandoori-baked naan. Art lines the dining area's walls, and a mounted flat-screen TV gives patrons somewhere to show off their channel-changing psychic powers. Sammy's Kebab House's chefs also prepare feasts for special occasions, which can be celebrated in the restaurant's private event space or catered to another location.
Though its sweet shoppe is a new addition, Charlie's has been serving ice cream for over 30 years, long enough to witness both I Love the '80s and its original source material. Try your tongue on one of Charlie's time-honored soft-serve treats in chocolate ($2/medium), vanilla ($2/medium), yogurt ($2.35/medium), or Dole ($2.35/medium) in a cake cone. Charlie's can also add any of 36 flavors, including butterscotch, espresso, cheesecake, mango, and many more into any of its soft-serve flavors. Or opt to sharpen your teeth on two scoops of classically flavored hard-serve in a cake cone ($2.25). Sugar-free options in butter pecan and fudge ripple help keep discerning diets in tact. Ice cream is also skillfully injected into cakes, pies, and cookie sandwiches, bridging the gap between Charlie's old and Charlie's new with a filling more satisfying than caulk. Swing by the sweet shoppe portion of the dessertery to pick up some home-style baked goods, such as cookies, brownies, crème horns, muffins, tarts, apple dumplings, cakes, savory pepperoni rolls, and more. Pie, cake, and other large orders must be placed 24–48 hours in advance.
For more than 50 years, the resident chefs at The Penn Monroe have been crafting classic Italian and American cuisine. Muffle neighing stomach horses with a starter of cheese-slathered banana peppers ($8.99) stuffed with hot italian sausage before sharpening incisors on a half-pound bacon-cheddar Black Angus burger ($8.50). Otherwise, grab, slice, or juggle one of The Penn Monroe's many hoagies stuffed with zesty vegetables and deli meats. The italian platter ($12.99) summons a triumvirate of ravioli, angel hair, and chicken parmesan to afford diners the privilege of sampling a wide range of Italian fare without rifling through a gondolier's lunchbox. A septet of televisions pepper the dining area, offering ample opportunities to view various sporting events or set up makeshift living rooms.