Nestled within the Cottonwood Plaza Shopping Center, Tonti's Pizza fashions award-winning New York–style pies within classic pizzeria digs. Cooks slather homemade East Coast tomato sauce on myriad Italian dishes, adding dollops to crowd-pleasing calzones and mozzarella sticks. Tonti's cheese has been extolled in Westword for its astonishing stretchiness, which helps pizzas hold fast even as lunching executives pull from each end to get a bigger share of the last slice.
At Portofino Pizza & Pasta, the owner and head chef conjures a menu of classic Italian cuisine. Diners round up appetites with garlic knots ($3.99/dozen), which sidle up next to marinara for dipping or finger painting. Hefty calzones enfold a triumvirate of ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses, and hot hero sandwiches pile rolls high with stacks of meatballs or eggplant ($7.49). Pizza professionals toss specialty pies such as the Portofino pizza ($18.99), which is speckled in spinach, sun-dried tomato, and black olives in an attempt to camouflage itself from fingers, and fetuccine alfredo ($8.99) twirls itself around fork tines to sneak into mouths to ambush unsuspecting taste buds.
With a signature pizza size called the Monster, you’d expect Pudge Brothers Pizza to be more focused on quantity than quality. But in fact, the chefs create their signature varieties of hand-tossed pies by blending together the flavors of three sauces, a range of meats, and fresh veggies. From within sizzling ovens, chefs pull out creations such as the Jersey Girl—a pizza featuring italian sausage and green peppers—or the White Delight—a ham, chicken, and garlic-sauce combination. Pies range in size from 10 inches to 18 inches, with a range of garlic bread, wings, and cinnamon bread to fill in a meal. The shop also offers delivery service, ensuring clients can have a hot, hearty meal when time is short or when the paparazzi won’t leave their front yard.