Though they don't knead the dough themselves, customers at MyPie by Crust certainly have a hand in their pizzas' creation. That's because they dictate their assembly every step of the way. At the restaurant's front counter, chefs take requests for custom-built Neapolitan-style pies directly from their hungry patrons, beginning with the selection of a fresh-made white, wheat, or gluten-free crust. To top that fresh foundation, customers then select from five different sauces—including conventional pizza sauce, spicy fra diavolo, and savory BBQ—and an assortment of meat and vegetable toppings. Each pie then enters an 800-degree oven that cooks it to perfection in two minutes—roughly 10 times faster than a home oven might take, and roughly 100 times faster than it would take to bake it over a single candle. Though custom pizzas are the restaurant's forte, they also craft traditional varieties such as Margherita and Hawaiian—both mainstays of MyPie's parent company, Crust, whose multiple Arizona restaurants continue a legacy of using fresh, homemade, and local ingredients in crafting their signature pies.
The Gelato Spot’s frozen-dairy hotshots merge ingredients imported from Torino, Italy, and churn a bevy of creamy gelati and sorbets daily. The gelateria’s small tongue-chilling batches have earned the shop the title of Best Frozen-Yogurt/Ice Cream Spot in AZ Central's 2011 readers’ poll, which praises the eatery’s extravagant displays and cheerful staff. Though The Gelato Spot specializes in traditional Italian flavors, such as stracciatella and amarena, they also craft American renditions such as Snickers, new york cheesecake, and salted caramel. As diners shovel in glacial delights on The Gelato Spot's heated and misted patio, they can also cruise the web with complimentary WiFi.
Amid the bright, contemporary decor and open-air seating of Grazie’s two locations, the restaurant’s chefs roll out fresh, flavorful pizza dough and compile classic Italian specialties. Their menu of pastas and gourmet pizzas—which are crowned with toppings such as prosciutto, capers, and ricotta—complement the tannins of an expansive, all-Italian wine list. The pizzeria doubles as an off-sale wine shop, with each bottle curated by wise wine experts who tirelessly sniff out rare imports with the enthusiasm of grape-fixated bloodhounds. When Grazie's hospitable staffers aren't serving lunch or dinner, students from regularly scheduled Italian-language classes flood the restaurant space with the delicate syllables of useful phrases such as “What’s your name?” and "Are you going to finish that lasagna?"
Classic and modern takes on hand-tossed pizza dot NY Pizza Lovers’ menu, along with sandwiches, pasta, and calzones. Chicken crowns tangy buffalo sauce on a crisp crust and spinach, tomato, and feta cheese combine in the Greek pizza. Patrons can also choose their own toppings to create a custom Sicilian- or New York–style slice. Catering services deliver trays of pasta, fresh salads, and cold subs or wraps.
After more than two decades of slinging slices at its original Jersey location, Mamma Mia transported its pizza (awarded Best Slice of Pizza in 2011 by the Phoenix New Times), pasta, and subs to satiate Italian cuisine cravings in Phoenix. A choice of 30 eclectic toppings, including ricotta, fresh basil, and bacon, speckle cheesy canvasses, and crusts can accommodate special diets in gluten-free and low-carb form. Caesar salads can be customized to include grilled chicken, and a meaty trio of pepperoni, ham, and salami croons to provolone, roasted peppers, and artichoke hearts in an olive-dotted antipasto salad. Soft drinks quell flaming tongues ignited by jalapeño toppings or eating pizza directly from the oven. Today's deal can be enjoyed at either the 3937 East Indian School Road location or the 806 East Indian School Road location; the latter recently added a new dining room.
Rosati’s Pizza's history dates back to the early 1900s, when a recent Italian immigrant named Ferdinand Rosati moved from New York to Chicago with the dream of opening a restaurant. His first attempt was modest—with Ferdinand simultaneously fulfilling the duties of chef, server, dishwasher, and host—but quickly gained popularity for its crispy-thin-crust pizzas, originally served as complimentary appetizers. Encouraged by the public's response to the pies, Ferdinand and his son, Sam, decided to focus their efforts on opening a true pizzeria.
Today, at Rosati's Pizza locations across the country, plumes of heat swirl above piping-hot pies concocted from handmade sauce and dough. A smattering of toppings cling to five crust options—crispy thin, double dough, Chicago-style, pan, and superstuffed—as well as hide from their hungry predators inside hand-rolled calzones. Homemade lasagna and fettuccine alfredo battle for the top pasta spot, and fried chicken, baby back ribs, and fried-shrimp dinners work together to distract diners from hard-to-resist buffalo wings.