More than a dozen sauces simmer in the kitchen at Galileo’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria, ready to top unsuspecting pasta with rich flavors. In addition to classic francese, marsala, and milanese preparations of chicken, veal, and seafood, the restaurant also prepares various heroes, wraps, and paninis. There's gourmet pizza, too, such as Galileo’s Special, whose pepperoni, sausage, peppers, and mushrooms aren’t yet convinced that the Earth is round. A wrought-iron lamp hangs over the dining room, where black-upholstered booths are flanked by walls painted a rich chocolate brown or inlaid with stones.
At Nunzio's Pizzeria, pizza experts whip up more than 20 varieties of specialty pizzas with inventive topping combinations such as chicken and alfredo sauce or fresh mussels. In addition to pies, they extend their culinary expertise towards a variety of other pizzeria classics—including hot subs, calzones, and mozzarella sticks—as well as authentic Italian favorites like eggplant rollatini pasta and veal saltimboca. Diners can split these dishes on intimate tabletops in the sunny seating area, or opt for carryout service to enjoy pizza and ill-advised food juggling routines in the privacy of their own homes.
At L'Allegria, founders Saverio and Giovanni Allocca seek to transport diners to an al fresco Mediterranean courtyard with their authentic cuisine and decor that evokes a breezy villa. The menu brims with classic italian pastas and succulent veal dishes, made with hormone-free meats. Extensive wine lists complement entrees with dozens of varietals from Italy and California.
Patrons sit upon floral-patterned chairs in the high-ceilinged dining room, amid beige walls and exposed brick. At times, a pianist's melodies reverberate throughout the eatery, relaxing diners and reminding the walls' paintings of a simpler time when they were young, impressionable canvases.
The dough wizards at Papa John's Pizza 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.
Benvenuti Italian Specialties & Catering first opened in Bari, Italy before packing up for Garwood, New Jersey in the early 1900's. Chefs still carry on the traditions of the Old World, though, crafting classic Italian entrees and contemporary dishes. They draw from a vast menu that includes everything from more than 20 varieties of housemade ravioli to a chicken Benvenuti, which is sautéed with peppers, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and capers. The kitchen also transports meals from its catering menu to luncheons, banquets, and other events throughout the area.
Cured meats hang above Benvenuti's glass deli cases, which teem with olives and rounds of fresh mozzarella. Meanwhile, pastas, bottles of olive oil, and other Italian imports line the main shop floor.
Each plate of pasta at Theresa's Restaurant is a work of in-house craftsmanship made daily by dedicated chefs. This devotion to fresh ingredients is evident in the ravioli, which changes to suit the season, and in several seafood entrees, which need to be eaten immediately lest sharks track the scent of fish onto land. Meats such as steak and veal headline other main dishes, which waiters set on white tablecloths in a dining room filled with natural light. For dessert, a serving of homemade banana bread pudding—garnished with cinnamon gelato and caramel sauce—pairs well with a hot drink from the cappuccino and espresso bar.