Unlike applying for a job, auditioning for a play, or winning over in-laws, becoming a member of the Lobosco clan is as easy as eating pie. Pizza pie, that is. "One bite and you'll be family!" is the restaurant's fun-loving motto, one that the kitchen crew reinforces by crafting homestyle pasta dinners, hot hero sandwiches on fresh-baked bread, and classic Italian entrees such as eggplant parmigiana. Pizzas are stretched thin in the New York fashion, then topped with ingredients ranging from classic sausage, pepperoni, and olives to less common shrimp, crab, and white sauce.
Voted Best Specialty Pizza in Dunedin in a House of Beers citywide contest in 2010, Bayshore Pizza’s success comes courtesy of co-owner Erik Johanson’s passion for quality ingredients. That and his mom’s secret sauce recipe, of course. Making good on a lifelong dream to run his own restaurant, Johanson oversees the family-owned-and-operated pizzeria, where chefs hand-toss fresh, daily prepared dough before transforming it into thin-crust and pan pizzas, folding it into ricotta-stuffed calzones, and rolling into hearty strombolis. Pizzas are available whole, or by the slice, where toppings range from the classic––pepperoni, sausage, green pepper––to the creative––clams, garlic, parmesan, and bacon––and a choice of five sauces waits to grace Bayshore’s chicken wings, which also won top prize in 2011, but never brag about it.
At Pronto Pizza, chefs whip up Chicago-style, New York-style, and thin Italian-style crusts on their signature pies. Customized pizzas can be enhanced by more than 15 toppings, from pepperoni and sausage to eggplant and banana peppers. Pizzas range from the Hawaiian pizza, with ham, pineapple, and mozzarella, to “Carlos Pie,” with grilled chicken and pesto. The menu is also rife with classic Italian dishes, such as veal piccata, chicken Palermo, and shrimp fra diavolo, paired several wines and beers.
In 1973, Art Capogna opened the doors of his Dugout, a casual eatery devoted to sports and Italian food. In spacious family-friendly dining rooms, framed jerseys and pennants hang above plates of pasta, calzones, hoagies, and pizza. Most of the remaining wall space is occupied by TVs—six in the family dining room and 18 in the sports bar—and plaques commemorating Art's devotion to supporting youth sports. Crispy pizzas slide steaming from fiery brick ovens, layered with italian sausage and green peppers, ham and pepperoni, and many other topping combinations. Diners can also sink forks into entrees such as sirloin steak or chicken cordon blue as adults sip beers and kids try to shake hands with the huge baseball coach painted on the wall.
The multitalented chefs at Tony's Pizzeria & Ristorante flex their culinary muscles while they rustle up New York–style pizzas and a variety of Italian specialties. Exposed-brick walls, old-fashioned signage, and black-and-red booths form an ideal setting for polishing off plates of fried calamari, veal scallopine, and saucy pastas. Breezes comb through diners’ hair and birds chirp the theme to Three’s Company from the outdoor patio, where visitors can enjoy their pizza whole or by the slice. Daily happy-hour specials from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. encourage guests to unwind after a long workday with swigs of adult beverages.
The murals of the Greek Islands in the buffet rooms at Post Corner Pizza bespeak the Sofronas family's heritage, which is equally evident in the restaurant's white stucco exterior and even in its pizza. The Sofronas brothers perfected a pan-pizza recipe, which is still kept a carefully guarded secret, when they moved from their Greek hometown to the United States. Maria, the daughter of one of the Sofronas brothers, now helms the shop, serving pan pizzas with signature crusts that are "not too soft and not too crisp" alongside traditional Greek specialties. She combines both types of cuisine with her Grecian pizza, topped with ricotta, feta, and fresh spinach, which, she jokes, is her favorite menu item because she created it. Every night, diners can look out through windows or across the outdoor patio at an orange sunset over the ocean waves. For those staying in nearby hotels, condos, or caves hidden inside rocky cliffs, staffers deliver steaming pizzas free of charge.