With roots that trace back decades to its first location on the Syracuse University campus, it's not surprising that Johnny's Pizza chooses to continue perfecting their New York-style pies in various other locations. The chefs' hand-tossed dough can be topped with the fresh ingredients of your choosing or made into one of 16 specialty pizzas, including the steak and cheese with onions, mushrooms, and green peppers. Pizza dough also doubles as the shell for calzones and stromboli, while 10.5-inch personal pizzas come in a gluten-free version. Oven-baked subs are layered with meatballs or Italian sausage and pasta dinners feature home-cooked classics such as lasagna and chicken parmigiana, but without the smoke-filled kitchen that comes with so many home-cooked meals.
Thanks to its diverse dishes and sundry dining settings, The Porch at Collier wears many hats. There's its traditional dining room, where romantic couples luxuriate in the dinner menu's delicate pastas and house-smoked chicken amid plum-colored drapes and flower-topped tables. There's the lounge, which surrounds friends with wicker lamps and leafy plants as they revel in televised sports and sip one of 12 draft beers, and the café, whose neon-lined walls peppered with framed photographs create a classy atmosphere in which to savor the late-night menu. Finally, there's the eatery's namesake—an expansive rooftop porch—lined with wooden tables—that lets diners enjoy gourmet lunchtime fare or attempt to topple Icarus' record for getting close to the sun. Each of the restaurant's contemporary American creations is crafted with local, sustainable ingredients and a minimal dependence on artificial preservatives, ensuring that dining experiences are both decadent and eco-friendly.
Dave Pazienza first donned a toque in the kitchen of his father's restaurant where he learned family recipes from his fellow Italian chefs. He emerged from that experience eager to share those culinary traditions with as many people as possible, which he does from behind the counter at Artuzzi's Italian Kitchen. Tables gaze directly into the open kitchen, allowing guests to watch as cooks reduce steaming pots of wine, cream, and spices or whittle each individual strand of pasta. Extra-virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, and eight signature sauces invigorate the platefuls of freshly cut linguini or imported, whole-wheat penne.
From the pizza oven, scents hint at more than 20 toppings including granny smith apples, gorgonzola cheese, capers, and herb-roasted chicken. The dining room's pastel yellow and orange walls mirror the warmth of the oven beneath vintage-inspired paintings of pasta and wicker-wrapped chianti bottles.
Crescent Avenue in Atlanta’s Midtown is a great little row of restaurants and bars, with a full range of options from Irish pubs to upscale seafood. On the most casual end of the scale is a Florida beach-themed spot called Flip Flops. There is a pizza kitchen offering pies or pretzels, but it’s best to show up at Flip Flops later in the evening for drinks with friends instead. If Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville (the song or the restaurant) puts a smile on your face, then you will feel right at home at Flip Flops, with its tiki island décor and patio seating. There’s ample space to meet up with friends for a drink before heading to one of the destination restaurants on Crescent Avenue, but beware: Flip Flops does have a serious frat party reunion vibe. Just go with the flow and you should have a great time.
Amuse!’s airy, bohemian atmosphere welcomes guests with fresh ingredients and imaginative French dishes. For brunch, patrons can nosh on a light breakfast such as the toasty croque monsieur sandwich filled with black forest ham and béchamel cheese ($12), or sample sweet crepes filled with Nutella, jam, or fresh fruit (three for $7). Dinnertime customers initiate ingestive engines with sea scallops au gratin served with swiss cheese ($14) before moving to main courses such as the duo of duck-leg confit and duck breast ($24).