The menu at Jerry’s Brick Oven Pizza reads more like a roster of Italy’s most revered dishes. Of course, the flames from a brick oven graze the bottom of pizzas topped with pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, peppers, onions, tomatoes, or fresh garlic. But the selection also includes minestrone soup, chicken marsala, veal parmigiana, calzones, and homemade manicotti. The staff even pipes cream into fresh cannolis, providing a sweet finish to any entrée.
Sal's soothes grumbling hunger tubs with its eclectic entourage of edibles, including pizza, specialty pies, calzones, seafood, and other Italian favorites. Anchor incisors on the buffalo-chicken pizza's mozzarella shores ($16/small, $18/large), or tune taste knobs to the egg-battered frequencies of the eggplant parmigiana, which dons a jaunty dressing of mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce ($13.50). Patrons of the noodled arts can commission a meal from Sal's pasta offerings, and garden grubbers can slip into some serious leafage with a bevy of salad selections.
Italian-born Isi Albanese tops Neapolitan and Brooklyn-style extra thin pizzas with homemade and 100% Grande mozzarella cheese inside his Zagat-rated eatery. Families can twirl noodles from dishes such as pasta fresca, linguini with clam sauce, and penne a la vodka on their forks or fingers and spoon house-made gelato during live, weekly entertainment shows and trips to the arcade room.
The Gianfranco special brings pizzas back to simpler times, when chefs topped crusts with nothing more than a drizzle of olive oil, sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and a sprinkle of basil and spices. With other pizzas, the chefs stray from tradition, covering crusts with Cajun shrimp, basil-roasted peppers, caesar dressing, and mushrooms glazed in marsala sauce. While crusts cook in the oven, chefs busy themselves simmering pots of alfredo, vodka, meat, bolognese, and pesto sauces?all of which are poured over plates of gnocchi and ravioli or served separately as a palate cleanser in between courses.
Di Stefano’s floor-to-ceiling windows frame a particularly cozy picture of diners savoring bites of warm bruschetta, twirling linguine, and sopping up lemon white-wine sauce with veal scaloppini. Guests tear into penne-vodka or chicken-marsala pizzas at the round wooden tables in the dining room, or head outside to the umbrella-covered patio to taunt chipmunks with their people food. The family-friendly restaurant offers catering, takeout, and free delivery, and it now serves liquor.
If you're looking for a compelling reason to dine at Il Giardino Restaurant & Pizzeria, you won't have to look hard. The pizza?is the obvious standout, its crust slightly crispy and laden with fresh toppings. But the rest of the menu is loaded with gems that don't come in the shape of a pie?gems such as the baked clams and chicken parmesan, the latter of which nestles with roasted peppers and artichoke hearts on a bed of spaghetti.?If you still need convincing, how about this: Il Giardino is a BYOB restaurant, so you can bring along a bottle of wine or a carton of your favorite tap water.