The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
Tuscan–style archway murals surround the tables at Cucina Toscana, where authentic Italian seafood, pasta, and steak dishes showcase the delicate flavors of scratch-made sauces. Chefs craft sausages and meatballs in-house before tempting eyes and noses with herbs artfully sprinkled atop into stunning portraits of Rembrandt. Each dish is carefully prepared and chefs are flexible with substitutions involving orders, displaying the freshness of ingredients such as prosciutto, stuffed clams, buffalo mozzarella, and garden veggies. Cucina Toscana also caters platters to feed hungry partiers and provide posters of donkeys with edible pasta tails to be pinned.
90 seconds at 900 degrees. That’s how long and how hot owner Tony Naser and his staff at Crush Pizza cook their Naples-style pies, in a wood-fired, Italian-made oven. This Nashua-based trattoria, which opened its doors in 2009, has been recognized by the Phantom Gourmet and the The Boston Globe and been named the "Best of NH 2012" in the Pizzeria category by nhmagazine.com for its made-to-order pizzas topped with artisanal ingredients such as housemade mozzarella, hand-crushed San Marzano tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and truffle cream. Customers dine on Crush Pizza's specials, including the The Salsiccia, made with red onion and housemade fennel sausage and mozzarella, and the signature Crush Pizza, made of mozzarella de bufala, cherry tomatoes, and truffle oil and topped with baby arugala and prosciutto di parma.
When chefs are not pulling piping hot pizzas from wood-burning ovens, they're marinating chicken wings in a housemade Limoncello sauce, crafting rustic Italian sandwiches, salads, desserts, and serving up craft beers.
Caffé Il Cipresso's chefs construct traditional, Old World Italian cuisine with a modern twist, tapping into an arsenal of top-quality ingredients such as fresh haddock, tender veal, and gorgonzola cheese. A smattering of sauces such as pesto and alfredo flood freshly made linguine, penne, and fettuccine noodles. Chicken and fresh seafood, including salmon and shrimp, sizzle in 100% olive oil and artfully complement the eatery's wine list, which flaunts crisp whites, full-bodied reds, and dessert varietals that sparkle like holographic diamonds. The dining room spotlights crimson booths and full-wall murals depicting idyllic countrysides, and the downstairs lounge fuels merrymaking with a full bar. Caffé Il Cipresso also furnishes large events with catering options, including pans of homemade pasta and entrees that serve up to 24 people.
At The Depot Grille and Bar’s onsite smokehouse, pitmasters slow-smoke racks of ribs, piles of pulled pork, and bundles of brisket. Flavored with housemade rubs and sauces, each meaty main course is served with corn bread and from-scratch sides such as pulled-pork chili or smoked baked beans. Barbecue flavors permeate many of the eatery’s other dishes, from barbecue-chicken quesadillas to specialty pizzas topped with smoked sausage or house-barbecue spices. Feasts unfold inside The Depot’s spacious dining room, where each booth is equipped with its own flat-screen TV.