Numero Uno Pizza has been cheesing up Chicago–style deep dish and spinning out New York–style pies since 1973. The pizza spot's menu, brimming with eight specialty pizzas ($14.95+ for a medium), travels from the shores of Hawaii with pineapple chunks and canadian bacon to the sands of Santa Fe with smoky barbecue sauce and chicken breast. Pie aficionados orchestrate their own masterpieces from a choice of crusts ($4.95 for a 7” individual) lavished with a selection of 20+ toppings such as feta cheese, pepperoncini peppers, and artichoke hearts ($0.75–$1.95 each). Diners can close the hatch of a genoa-salami-and-cheese submarine ($8.95 for a footlong) and venture into the depths of the ocean, or climb up mountains of triple-chocolate Blackout cake ($4.95) in search of glory and napkins.
The founders of zpizza think of their pies as edible art and imbue each slice with things that are good for you, from organic flour and tomato sauce to rich Wisconsin cheese from grass-fed, hormone-free cows. Innovative topping combinations create a menu of distinctive pizzas such as the Tuscan with cremini and shitake mushrooms and the curry chicken and yam with mango chutney. Classic cheese and pepperoni pies also emerge from the oven with distinctive crispy crusts, which are hand-thrown each day using regular, whole wheat, or gluten-free dough.
Nunzio Donato Ciaraulo and his wife, Cristina, curate a menu of Old World dishes hailing all corner of Italy, from Venetian-style risotto to coils of tomato-kissed Neapolitan pastas. Though the offerings change regularly, diners can count on classics such as pizzas and pastas joined by a revolving assortment of roasted pork, tender veal, cooked-to-order steaks, and simmering seafood. Sweet teeth applaud louder than an ice-cream truck with subwoofers when they see the dessert menu, which lists traditional mealtime denouements including tiramisu, cannoli, and sorbets.
Viva la Pasta's kitchens have been bubbling with pots of authentic Italian pasta for more than 10 years. The eatery's owner, Pippo, curates a menu of more than 400 variations of pasta and gourmet pizza that join a plentiful assortment of traditional Italian dishes and paninis. Every Sunday, an expansive brunch buffet meanders across the dining room; it abounds with platters of smoked fish, shrimp, mussels, and lobster, as well as steaming pans of pasta, eggs, and omelets. The softly lit interior houses white-clothed tables, while the outdoor garden patio features towering white umbrellas that supply ample shade for alfresco dining. While they sup, patrons can soak up the serenading of trickling fountains, chirping wildlife, and the husky French folk songs of lost fur trappers.
With more than 20 high-def televisions festooning their walls, Draughts Restaurant & Bar applies a full-court press to unsportsmanlike hunger with a menu that bursts at the seams with American eats and a monster selection of draught beers. Unlike marriages between roller-skates and quicksand, a glass of "Draughts" Amber Ale perfectly suits the Long Board specialty pizza ($9.95 personal, $16.95 medium, $21.95 large), which crowns fresh dough made from scratch with shrimp brushed with olive oil and garlic, and mozzarella and fontina cheeses. Or, pit a pint against Draughts' full menu of appetizers ($2.65-$10.50), sandwiches ($7.95-$11.95), pastas ($2.50-$14.95), and desserts.