Cousin Pete had a friendly face and knack for remembering names, while cousin Charles had a sharp eye for details and a head for business. But they both had a taste for good Italian food, so it was only natural they would join forces. That’s how Mangia Pizza Restaurant, with its BYOB approach and a menu of Italian favorites, was born—and with a little help from their years of restaurateur and customer-service experience.
Today, it's not uncommon to see cousin Pete meandering his way around the big booths in the brightly lit space, introducing himself to newcomers, swapping jokes with regulars, and discussing local politics with all the babies. As he bustles about the dining room, his chefs are hard at work in the kitchen tossing crispy Neapolitan and Sicilian-style pies with gourmet ingredients such as buffalo chicken and eggplant rollatini. They also layer crunchy paninis with fresh mozzarella, roasted turkey, and grilled chicken, and fold chicken, veal, and seafood into a time-honored dishes that make Mangia a place for not only attentive service, but for good eats.
Circles of fresh mozzarella, whole basil leaves, and fresh slices of tomato rest atop the aptly named fresh mozzarella pie at Frank's Pizza. The aesthetic diverges from Americanized versions of pizza; this pie adheres to the traditional Italian style. But that's not to say Frank's completely shirks American influences. Try the sautéed sausage, fried calamari, or stuffed pizza for something a bit outside of the traditional, like an Italian maître d' who questions if it is amore.
But if you choose to stick with one of the strikingly authentic Italian eats on Frank's menu, you have many options outside of pizza. Housemade focaccia sandwiches, veggie lasagna, and shrimp scampi present tempting alternatives.
Instead of making another pedestrian pie, Pizza 1's chefs put in the effort to hand-stretch crusts, import olive oil, and use Grande cheese, an Italian mozzarella that originates from high-quality dairy farms. This above-the-call effort has made them the most preferred pie in the area—Pizza 1 was selected as 2012’s Best Pizza by readers of the Tri Boro Patch. Their award might also derive from their selection of 36 specialty pies—one for each hour it would take the DMV to make one specialty pie. That selection includes bruschetta, eggplant rollatini, and a Belly Buster with meatballs, sausage, pepperoni, bacon, and veggies. The menu expands far beyond pizza, however, also including hot subs and Angus burgers, as well as gourmet salads and pasta dinners.