Matteo DiRosa grew up in Sarleno, Italy. In 1999, he moved to Indianapolis, where his two brothers had already started restaurants of their own. To get his foot in the door of the restaurant industry, Matteo worked as a waiter under his brother, Arturo. During that time, he met Emily Herner, who also worked at Arturo's restaurant. Romance between the two bloomed like a freshly planted spaghetti tree, but so did a business partnership—in 2003, Matteo and Emily decided they wanted to forge their own legacy, and Matteo's Ristorante Italiano was born.
With its high ceilings, pumpkin-colored walls, and thick, forest-green columns, Matteo's Ristorante Italiano exudes elegance and charm. Matching music, such as the smooth voice and beatboxing savvy of Dean Martin, trickles from the speakers, and artwork and awards dangle from the walls. Amid the restaurant's inviting ambiance, diners gather around tables piled with authentic Italian dishes, such as pollo amore and linguine puttanesca.
The ovens at Mancino's Pizza & Grinders work overtime. They burn each day, turning out batches of the Lyell family's signature breadsticks, hot meat-and-cheese-covered grinders on freshly baked bread, and, of course, specialty or build-your-own pizzas. The ovens' interiors breathe thermal life into concoctions whose histories stretch far back in time. Their grinders were born—according to Mancino's menu—on the East Coast during World War I, when Italian immigrants served hearty sandwiches to shipyard workers who were grinding off rivets for warships. Near the ovens, cooks cover spaghetti and lasagna in handcrafted marinara sauce using an old family recipe known only to Grandma Lyell and her hairdresser. In addition to hardworking ovens, the restaurant's new location boasts four large-screen TVs and an ice-cream bar to cool down well-heated palates.
Every day, the chefs at Cool River Pizza whip up a fresh batch of dough and bake it into pizzas, with gluten-free options available, topped with Real California Cheese and house-made sauce infused with more than seven herbs and spices. Freshly sliced vegetables and gourmet meats also crown specialty pies such as the Cool Ranch chicken, which plays hooky behind the oven to show off its ranch sauce and garlic chicken. To wash down the pies, pasta dishes, and salads, bartenders pour pints and pitchers of brews such as Coors Light, Sam Adams, and Blue Moon as diners watch sports games on large-screen TVs, play Wii on a 100-in. TV screen, hang out on the open patio, or live out fantasies of ancient gladiators' quiet evenings at home with a collection of board games.
The staffers at Uptown Caf? lovingly craft baked goods, sandwiches, and other caf? creations. Breakfast staples such as blueberry muffins sate morning appetites, while homemade chicken salads and toasted-cheese sandwiches quiet grumbling stomachs at lunch.Tall stacks of fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies and decadent cranberry-orange scones top off meals. Housed inside a chic 19th-century storefront, Uptown Caf? invites eaters to sip coffee and stay a while or build a towering chair fort and stay forever.
Established in 1969, chefs at the Greek's Pizzeria chain toss pizzas from house-made dough. The classic pies are complemented by pizza shells, also known as calzones, as well as sub sandwiches, pastas, and appetizers. The menu's dishes are filled with fresh ingredients and Greek's signature products, including the eatery's salad dressing, garlic butter, and italian sauce. For dessert, diners can drizzle icing over the pizzeria's cinnamon twists.
Bella Pizzeria spins its New York–style dough discs from more than 27 different topping options, including five types of cheese. Cast your vote for thin crust or deep dish by the slice ($2.85–$5), or gear up for heated fan-club presidential campaigns by sharing the spoils of a whole pizza ($11.99–$25.99). Bella Pizzeria's menu also furnishes plates with calzones ($5.79), subs ($5.89), and a selection of pastas ($5.89). Indulge in the cheese-swathed excellence of the ham, ricotta, and mozzarella calzone, a slab of baked ground-beef lasagna topped with homemade marinara sauce, or bask in the flat-screens' glowing athletic combat as the Bella sub's team of prosciutto, capicola, salami, ham, provolone, and veggie conquer your hunger.