At Biagio’s Ristorante, chef Jimmy Perides bakes individual pans of housemade lasagna and tosses imported and gluten-free pastas that earned the restaurant its Zagat rating. He puts his own mark on the menu with the steak ala chef, a new york sirloin steak crowned with cherry peppers, roasted garlic, and shitake mushrooms. Servers deliver wines from a selection of 50 handpicked bottles, which are often uncorked at seasonal tastings or splashed around at annual “wine fights.” The restaurant’s robust wine collection won it a 2010 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. A gurgling rock fountain stands at the entrance of the restaurant, welcoming patrons into the main dining area and adjacent wine room, and a flickering fireplace casts a warm glow over terracotta walls.
Inside the Garden State Plaza mall lies a gateway to the past, where flickering flames illuminate the charred interior of an oak-burning pizza oven, and the aroma of bubbling sauce made with freshly crushed tomatoes mixes with wisps of Frank Sinatra's silky voice. The charm that surrounds the rituals of Italian cooking drifts into Papa Razzi's dining room from an open-air kitchen, where cooks bustle around steaming pots of pasta. The culinarians use only fresh and imported ingredients when cooking, just as Old-World chefs did before they took jobs fixing the cleaver-wielding robots that would replace them.
Behind a wood-accented, 15-foot bar, mixologists sling a list of libations that includes mimosas, sangria, and wines selected to complement meals. In the dining room, fresh flowers sit atop white tablecloths, and celebrity photographs line the walls, reminding guests of treasured nuggets of pop culture.
At Forero's New York Gourmet Pizzeria, chefs cobble fresh ingredients into a menu of pastas, sandwiches, pizzas, and Italian specialties. From their brick oven emerge pans of ultra-thin, whole-wheat, and gluten-free crusts bearing bubbly mozzarella and Forero's signature pizza sauce, with gourmet toppings such as ricotta, rib eye, or sun-dried tomatoes. Appetizers blend Italian and Mexican favorites before ushering in entrees where veal gets top billing and specialty pastas such as fettuccine Alfredo and italian cheese manicotti call out from the menu's pages like sirens to salivary glands. With take-away and complimentary delivery services, meals meet their destinies within the comforts of one's home or at a hunting cabin, where one can claim to have just caught a fresh pizza.
The seasoned chefs at Dinallo’s Restaurant craft authentic, classic Italian dishes from fresh ingredients. Gastronomical expeditions can begin with a pit stop at the full bar before sampling the spiedini alla romana, a cheesy bread served with butter and anchovy sauce ($9). The menu runs the gamut from traditional, hearty eats, such as the scaloppine di vitello al marsala ($24), to lighter fare, such as the insalata di rucola, with Gaeta olives, goat cheese, and roasted peppers ($9). The linguine con salsiccie gives guests the chance to enjoy a satisfying serpentine mix of Italian sausage and tomato sauce while pilfering bites from fellow diners' plates with a noodle lasso ($16). Classic white tablecloths, polished wood paneling, and wood floors set the scene for pescatorialists to appreciate their salmone alla griglia ($21).
Pizza Fusion delivers pies in hybrid vehicles, uses eco-friendly cleaning products, gives discounts for recycled pizza boxes, donates to environmental causes, and uses utensils made from potatoes. Its planned moon base will lack outdoor seating but will be 100% carbon neutral.