Tovos Grill draws its name from an acronym of the five joint owners, infusing the restaurant's American comfort food, sizzling grill fare, New York–style deli sandwiches, and pizza with quintuple bonds of friendship. Chefs load the dinner menu with carnivorous delights, including certified Angus cuts of prime rib ($17.99/14 oz., $15.99/10 oz.), slow-roasted and seared to successfully romance taste buds. Traditional homestyle dishes, such as meat loaf ladled with mushroom gravy ($11.99), settle comfortably into bellies and promptly hand up a framed cross-stitch. From the lunch menu, toweringly stacked deli meats straddle bridges of bread, as in the Times Square Triple Decker, which marries turkey to a classic BLT ($7.79). Pizzas roast in a wood-fired oven, including the Grande Pollo ($11.99/10", $14.99/14"), loaded with chicken, arugula, feta, onion, and olive toppings laid out in championship-winning chinese-checkers patterns.
Balls of dough arc through the air as Downtown House of Pizza's chefs toss and stretch each round into the New York–style thin crust deemed the best pizza of 2012 by Metromix Gulf Coast. Creamy mozzarella cheese melts beneath toppings such as anchovies and spinach, and Grandma's Sicilian pizza melds fresh basil and tomatoes in a recipe passed through the generations on a needlepoint pillow. Downtown House of Pizza also tosses chicken wings in tangy buffalo sauce, layers grilled chicken and dressings atop crispy lettuces, and tucks meatballs and chicken parmesan into hot and cold sub sandwiches.
For more than 15 years, Heavenly Pizza's culinary team has crafted pies from handmade dough, blended housemade sauces, and topped slices with fresh, never-frozen veggies. Ingredients such as broccoli, hamburger, and jalapeño top their pizzas, which reach up to 16 inches in size. Rather than color within the lines of traditional pies, the chefs playfully twist the pizza format with stromboli, ricotta-filled calzones, and crusts stuffed with cheese, sauce, and all the juicy details about pizza crust. More homemade red and alfredo sauces are slathered on heaping portions of pasta, which rounds out the Heavenly Pizza menu along with sandwiches, pitas, and salads drizzled in more than 10 dressings.
Chris and Michelle Lussier learned some of their most important lessons from their grandparents—techniques for cooking meatballs so they are plump and flavorful, the proper amount of garlic to use in homemade sauces, and how to manage a family-style restaurant with both efficiency and warmth. The duo and their chefs have been whipping up Italian specialties in their cheerful neighborhood eatery for nearly a decade, from creamy pastas to plump calzones. They speckle their pizzas with gourmet toppings, such as barbecue chicken and tender steak.
The secret behind Carmine Street NY Pizza & Mussels’ New York–style slices is the restaurant’s stone-brick oven, which sears dough until it attains the style’s signature crispy, thin-crusted crunch. However, Chef Anthony knows that a great pizza relies on more than its base, so he tops dough with gourmet ingredients such as chicken marsala, meatballs, and fresh baby spinach.
Like a graphic novel about pearls, the restaurant also features a few oceanic alter egos. Mussels, shrimp, and calamari are delivered to the kitchen daily, allowing chefs to toss them with wine, herbs, and pasta, or quickly fry them for fresh appetizers. Calzones, paninis, and entrees of chicken piccata are among the menu's classic Italian meals. Diners may pair meals with wines and cocktails procured at the full liquor bar, or take in the soothing streams of live music while feasting indoors or on the patio.