The East Coast pizza purists at Paparazzi Pizzeria pop from-scratch dough topped with house-made sauce into stone deck ovens shipped straight from New York. In true Big Apple fashion, Paparazzi Pizzeria's signature pies stretch up to 18-inches across ($21.99)—the to-scale size of Barbie's pinkie were she to come to life. Try the Pappa's flavorful soiree—chicken, spinach, and roma tomatoes in garlic cloaks dancing on a golden-crust floor (10", $9.99; 18", $21.99), or construct an edible mosaic with custom pies (10", $7.99; 18", $13.99) piled with your choice of 20 toppings ($0.79–$1.99 each). Pasta dishes ($6.99–$8.99) and borough-bred strombolis ($9.99) stuffed with steak, sausage, and street smarts round out the menu.
Since its inception in 1974, Birraporetti's has melded Italian cooking with a traditional Irish-pub atmosphere, serving hand-tossed pizzas baked in their stone oven alongside robust Irish coffee and spirits. CBS Houston highlighted its oven-fired pizzas as some of the best in the city, specifically lauding the house bianco pizza for eschewing traditional ingredients such as tomato sauce and shredded copies of the Mona Lisa. The kitchen remains open until midnight to accommodate late-night cravings, yet the chefs still rise in time to serve Sunday jazz brunches replete with made-to-order waffles, omelets, and desserts served amid live jazz performances.
With parents hailing from Sicily and Naples, Anthony Russo enjoyed an Italian upbringing. By age 12, he spent much of his time in the kitchen, learning to prepare Old World recipes with his family and family friends. And from the flurry of Italian phrases and conversation, one quote of his father's stuck with him most: "If you can't make it fresh, don't serve it!"
Several decades later, Anthony has hand-tossed his own Italian restaurant franchise and, true to his father's words, employs fresh ingredients in the same family recipes that were passed down to him. Amid exposed brick and walls the warm hue of marinara, skilled chefs craft New York–style brick-oven pizzas with toppings such as spinach, sundried tomatoes, and capers. Servers stand ready to answer questions about the restaurant’s wine lists, letting guests know which wines pair best with the Pizzotto sandwich or whether pinot noir can really turn dogs invisible.
Inside Original Napoli Italian Restaurant by Papa Zack's bustling kitchen, a team of talented chefs craft house-made pasta before dousing noodles in meat, marinara, alfredo, and clam sauces. This kitchen architects the eatery's "what," but the staff's "how" involves constant, family-friendly friendliness. The culinary experts give chicken the royal treatment, dressing it up in a variety of dishes, including marsala, piccata, parmigiana, and rollatini. Sandwiches and pizza in two crusts round out the Italian-centric menu. The catering leg of the business feeds multicourse meals for at least 10 people or 5 people saving half their meal for their fallout shelter.
• For $10, you get an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet for two (a $6.99 value each) plus two sodas (a $2 value each), valid from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (up to a $19.15 total value, including tax). • For $14, you get an Italian meal for two, including a medium 14-inch signature pizza (up to a $16.99 value), seven wings (a $5.99 value), and two sodas (a $2 value each; up to a $28.73 total value, including tax). • For $21, you get an Italian meal for four, including a large 16-inch signature pizza (up to a $19.99 value), 14 wings (an $11.98 value), and four sodas (a $2 value each; up to a $42.57 total value, including tax).
The menu at Fred's Italian Corner unfolds to reveal a wide range of savory selections for lunch and dinner. Start the evening with antipasti such as battered and fried calamari ($9.49) and hearty Italian sausages swimming in grilled bell peppers and onions ($7.99). Wash down round one with a classic cup of minestrone soup ($3.99), and you'll be asking for "amore," which is Italian slang for napkins. Dinner entrees include classic lasagna layered with ricotta and baked to golden goodness ($10.99) and generously compiled seafood risotto ($24.99).