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 Café lovingly craft baked goods, sandwiches, and other café 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 Café 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.
Papa Murphy’s serves up a tasty menu of handmade "take ‘n’ bake" pizzas created using dough, cheeses, meats, and veggies that are freshly prepared every day (prices listed below are average; actual prices vary by location). After customers choose their pie, Papa Murphy's personable pizza fashioners will build the pizza in-store and then package it for customers to bake at home in the oven. Customers can select one of Papa Murphy's signature pizzas or customize their pie to a more specific taste, culling from the four sauces, three crusts, and more than 20 toppings available. Watch as Papa Murphy’s pizza professionals corral the ingredients of a signature pizza such as the cowboy ($14.99 for the 16” family size), complete with pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, and black olives. Or request a Chicago-style stuffed pizza ($16.99 for the family size), packed with onions, mozzarella, four kinds of meat, and one of the most efficient public-transit systems in America. Thin-crust fans can opt for an herb chicken Mediterranean deLITE ($11.99 for a large), smothered with feta cheese, olive oil, and spinach. And veggievores can avail themselves of Papa Murphy’s gourmet vegetarian option ($15.99 for the family size), which comes saturated with a creamy garlic sauce. Side your pizza with an order of cheesy bread ($3.99) or a two-liter soda ($2.09).