Stars & Stripes Pizza offers thin 'n' crispy and hand-tossed crusts and a union of sauces and toppings from a selection of 20-plus, including garlic butter sauce and breakfast bacon that turns back into a ham when the sun sets.
Of course, diners can order one of 10 specialty pies, such as a Greek-inspired pizza topped with mozzarella and gyro meat. Said meat reappears in the pizzeria's gyro sandwich, while the other pizza ingredients can fill customizable calzones or finish their order with salad and wings. True to its patriotic name, Stars & Stripes even includes free cinnamon sticks or breadsticks with purchases made with a valid military ID.
While the heart of Johnny Carino's menu is rooted in genuine Italian traditions, forward-thinking creativity has birthed what they like to call their signature dishes. The menu was designed by executive chef Chris Peitersen, and each location executes it by blending fresh ingredients with extra time to create high-quality preparations. Diners will find entrees such as 16-layer lasagna with made-from-scratch sauce, and pizzas made with home-baked crust. Other signature choices include the all-natural beef tuscan ribeye, baked stuffed mushrooms topped with house lemon-basil cream sauce, and tiramisu made from the ground up. Entrees can be paired with any selection from Carino's extensive wine list and cocktail menu.
Papa Dio's owner and head chef Bill Bonadio is a strong believer in tradition. His restaurant has spanned three generations of Bonadios, who have carefully crafted hearty Italian cuisine served on tables across two dining rooms. Boasting a sprawling list of more than 160 items, the menu runs the epicurean gamut through classic spaghetti and meatballs to Dio's original fried pizzas, while their new "Little Menu" includes items under $10. At the wine bar, tables draped in crisp white linens surround a horseshoe-shaped bar that was made with wood salvaged from an 18th-century home in Louisiana and a horseshoe salvaged from an 18th-century giant horse.
Lotsa Noodles' Paulo Paes has a simple mission: to serve fresh and nutritious food with speed. He corrals recipes from across the globe for his diverse menu of pasta dishes, rice specialties, and sandwiches, which are made to order, covered in housemade sauces, and filled with fresh ingredients. Soups such as creamy tomato basil and veggie-laden pot sticker take the edge off hunger, helping diners pace themselves when it comes time to share slices of the mac 'n' cheese pizza.
Many of Caffe Pranzo's customers have been dining there for well over a decade. It's the restaurant's traditional Italian menu that inspires such devotion, plating pastas, chicken, and fish saut?ed in delicate wine sauce. Pizzas, too, are prepared the old-fashioned way, with dough thrown high in the air. After garnishing them with gourmet toppings such as grilled artichoke hearts, portabella mushrooms, and summer squash, the brick-oven-baked pies transport to a dining room bedecked with works by local artist Jennifer Holloway. There, guests who've finished off their meals can tuck into cheesecakes shipped from New York City's Carnegie Deli for a taste of Manhattan without the granite-y mouthfeel of biting the Empire State Building.
Crowds are pleased with the thin, fresh fruit crepes, fluffy whipped eggs, enormous multigrain pancakes, and other innovative brunch items that accompany the morning paper and free WiFi at First Watch Cafe, open from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Recently the winner of a 2014 Menu Masters Award for Most ?Innovative Healthy Menu Item for their Quinoa Power Bowl, and placed at the top of a Consumer Reports list of best family restaurants, First Watch takes the customer experience seriously. Chefs focus entirely on crafting nourishing sunrise feasts and midday meals using fresh ingredients, creating omelets, belgian waffles, homemade biscuits, and wholesome lunch salads and sandwiches to order without the use of heat lamps or deep-fat fryers.