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.
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.
The quaint bakery of Il Sogno Dolce caters to sweet teeth with brownies, cookies, cakes, biscotti, and other treats crafted on site. Each dessert is made in small batches to capture a homemade taste without setting bear traps under welcome mats. Cake pops ($8 for six) combine the decadence of cake with the convenience of a lollipop and are available in combinations such as carrot cake and cream-cheese frosting, german chocolate cake and chocolate frosting, and yellow cake with lemon frosting. Crunch into house-made cranberry and white chocolate biscotti ($6.99/bag), or softly sink chompers into Earl Grey fudge ($8.99/half lb.), which was infused with the namesake leaves after cracked eggs revolted against oppressive electric mixers by dumping tea bags into batter.
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.
Pasquale’s Ristorante Italiano crafts house-made pastas, entrees, and decadent desserts for an elegant, old-world menu of Italian favorites. A clutch of pan-seared scallops and shrimp spill over an umami-laden porcini risotto ($20.95) like a gift from a mermaid secret admirer left on the shore, and boneless short ribs with a port-wine glaze recline on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes ($20.95). Light-as-air gnocchi hopscotch through bolognese sauce studded with mascarpone cheese squares ($13.95). A slice of Nonna’s cheesecake, finished with raspberry puree, puts a ricotta exclamation point at the end of savory meals. Homey floral arrangements and warm, golden walls meet sleek booths and a streamlined full bar in Pasquale's dining room, suiting moods ranging from casual to extravagant. Reservations are recommended.
The chefs at Il Gabbiano pack their menu of authentic Italian dishes with fresh, seasonal ingredients and seafood. Pairs can take edible trips across the Italian peninsula with the antipasto caldo for two ($14.95), which unites eggplant rollatini and stuffed mushrooms from the land with reclusive sea dwellers, including shrimp, mussels, and clams oreganata. Tendrils of linguine Gabbiano ($21.95) anchor succulent morsels of lobster, shrimp, and clams to plates and form edible lassos to corral wild forks. Al dente rigatoni noodles ($13.95) simmer with shallots and tomatoes in a rich vodka cream sauce. Chefs gingerly stuff the vitello Gabbiano's ($17.95) veal cutlet with prosciutto and fontina cheese before drizzling the finished product with a porcini-mushroom sauce. The BYOB eatery swathes its candlelit tables with crisp, white tablecloths and prints napkins with sheet music for romantic string quartets.