Mazzio's Italian Eatery's staff rolls out a buffet for lunch and dinner populated with tasty Italian cuisine that they also serve à la carte. The restaurant's staff has been perfecting its culinary modus operandi for more than 50 years, long enough to evolve the pizza selection to include three levels of thickness. Chefs bake standard, deep-dish, and thin crusts—available in gluten-free form—and load each with toppings such as caramelized onions and giant pepperoni. The kitchen makes pasta plates to order, some baked in the oven, such as lasagna, and some tossed in sauce, such as the mainstay spaghetti and meatballs. The signature calzone radiates the ambrosial scent of pizza dough stuffed with meat and cheese, and it's meant to be shared, unlike a pogo stick.
Pietro’s has baked hand-tossed New York–style pizza, calzones, and hot sandwiches in a stone gas oven for more than 30 years, each hand-crafted from secret Sicilian family recipes. Oven-baked steak and cheese sandwiches taunt tasteless rulers with 12 inches of deliciousness ($7.99), and three-cheese spinach calzones turn and fold the doughtables on regular pizzas ($6.49). The eatery employs 100 percent whole milk mozzarella in the construction of each specialty pie, such as the Hawaiian luau pizza, a festive mouth mingler with juicy pineapple and baked ham in a bubbling blanket of mozzarella cheese ($15.99 for a 14”; $19.99 for an 18”). Patrons are also free to itemize pizza by the slice, minimizing leftovers and risk of marinara audits.
Tableside belly dancers and traditional Mediterranean dishes entertain eaters at Albasha Greek & Lebanese Restaurant. Tender, juicy lamb shanks rest atop rice pilaf and are joined by hummus and sautéed pine nuts to complete the lamb-shank plate. Thinly sliced chicken marinated in garlic, oil, and Lebanese spices populates shawarma dishes, whereas butter-broiled shrimp kabobs simmer with the flavors of garlic and lemon juice.
Mingles’ menu of Southern classics features grilled wings, fried fish, and frosty brews. Among the most popular entrees is the chicken and waffle duo ($7.99), empowered by a posse of sides such as dirty rice and onion rings ($1.99 each). Wings arrive fresh from Mingles’ grill in a selection of savory suits, such as lemon pepper, garlic, parmesan, and honey barbecue ($6.99 for 10), while a triad of fried catfish strips satisfies peckish pescetarians ($6.99). Mingles compliments genial entrees with a variety of social events each week, fueled by draft beers, wines, and top-shelf spirits. Come on Thursday and Saturday nights for Karaoke and sing “That’s What Friends Are For” into sauce-covered wings, or arrive on Friday night to watch live bands court diners in a battle of the BFFs.
Ristorante Giuseppe is a cozy and romantic eatery that boasts homemade cuisine, global wine offerings, and views of the open kitchen from the comfort of a candlelit table. Take in varied menu items like the lunch-perfect smoked salmon panini ($12) or the small-plate prosciutto ravioli ($8) starring pork short rib in a noon-time matinee of pasta pockets. For hunger-havers with a moon date, send dinner appetites on a voyage with the large-plate shrimp and calamari-laden fritto misto ($20) or sink rich flavor-loving teeth into the lasagna ($13), teeming with butternut squash, pancetta, and wise sage. Sweet post-meal treats come in many guises, such as the fiore di fragola ($7), a cookie shell laced in almond skates with a duo of triple luxing apricots and fresh strawberries smoothed over by zabaione cream.
Under the guidance of Stir Tapas' co-owners Chase Boytim and Paul Roney, executive chef Christy Porter crafts small plates that the Shreveport Times calls "a worldwide affair" with an emphasis on "Louisiana, Spanish, and Central American cuisine." Some of her globetrotting culinary creations include fried green tomatoes with a shrimp rémoulade, meatballs stuffed with goat cheese, and calamari served alongside an avocado dipping sauce. To complement the gustatory Baedeker, the cocktail lounge's pours domestic and imported wines as well as specialty drinks such as the Flirtini, a concoction made with pineapple juice, vodka, champagne, and just the hint of an Italian accent. In between bites, sips, and conversation, guests can enjoy acoustic sets from local bands every Thursday–Saturday.