Distinguishing itself from the proliferation of fly-by-night pizzerias that pop up every other day, Villa Rose has firmly established itself as one of the area's oldest and most beloved, serving their signature thin-crust pies since 1957. Customers can build their own pizzas with toppings that range from jalapenos to meatballs, or order a specialty pie, such as the Pomodoro with fresh tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and mozzarella. Over the years, Villa Rose has built off a foundation of their classic pies, adding a slew of Italian mainstays to the menu: there's sandwiches teetering with piles of Italian cold cuts, Philly steak, or sausage and peppers, as well as 10 pasta dinners—one for each finger's unique appetite. The entree selection includes Italian classics such as veal parmigiana and calamari arrabiata entangled in linguini.
Though born in Sicily, Gianpiero Cangelosi moved throughout Europe, developing his skills as a restaurateur. In 1987, he finally landed by parachute in Pembroke Pines and opened Capriccio's Ristorante with the help of his wife Karen. Their traditional take on Italian cuisine quickly earned them a loyal legion of followers, and eventually the demand was too great to fit into one dinning room. They expanded their space with a second dining room and a lounge where a 6’5” chandelier shimmers above an octagonal granite bar. But as much as its surroundings have changed, the quality and authenticity of the food—which has earned the eatery multiple OpenTable Diner’s Choice awards—has not. The restaurant’s waiters ferry dishes of salmon and pine nuts, rack of lamb, and Black Angus filet mignon to tables of quietly salivating guests. Bites of braised veal shank or calamari pair with a dizzying array of wines from Italy, California, and Chile.
The restaurant’s decor reflects the origins of its cuisine–white Corinthian pillars flank sunny yellow walls marked by brick accents, arches, and ornately framed paintings. Diners lounge in wrought iron chairs as they listen to the standup routines of local violinists and pianists.
For John Capone, pizza is more than just food—it’s a family thing. That’s why he pulls from the vault of Capone family recipes to craft their distinctive sauce and dough. For build-your-own pies, John spreads homemade marinara sauce and add up to six toppings, such as banana peppers, artichokes, or Italian sausage, atop hand-tossed, whole grain, or deep-dish crusts. Those same ingredients also flavor Capone’s specialty pies, along with extra-fancy options such as eggplant and housemade ranch sauce. Beyond pizza, John fills their menu with a combination of Italian and pizzeria staples. They dot the Italian end of the spectrum with numerous handmade delicacies, including chicken parmesan and tiramisu. Pizzeria eats range from Chicago-style hot dogs crowned with homemade chili to slow-roasted chicken wings tossed with a choice of more than 10 sauces, including roasted garlic parmesan.
Those interested in going out for a night on the town can take a load off in the casual dining room, which boasts flat-screen televisions beaming with the latest sports games. Customers can also have their pies delivered to their home.
Ever since 1981, owners Joe and Helen Mineo have been serving generous portions of wings and seafood, integrating New York–style pizza seamlessly into their menu years after. Mineo’s tempts taste buds with dishes that range from lightly battered wings and spaghetti with chili to fried scallops and catfish sandwiches. It also dazzles palates with a raw bar, which features clams and oysters that appear raw, steamed, Rockefeller, or casino. No matter what they order, diners marvel at Mineo’s atmosphere of warmth and familiarity, fostered by the three generations of employees on staff and their leader, Debbie Carvalho, who’s been managing the restaurant since the day it opened.
In 1908 a couple from Leona, Italy, immigrated to America, opening a restaurant on Mulberry Street in Manhattan. Today, their grandchildren continue their culinary legacy at G. Juliano's Restaurant, where the classic traditions of the Italian kitchen continue to thrive, and New York’s entertainment culture lives on through live music, comedy showcases, and “dinner and a show” events.
G. Juliano’s marinara sauces simmer on stovetops for 8–10 hours while chefs use recipes passed through generations to cook up traditional dishes such as shrimp scampi or pork scaloppini. Even some of the same kitchen implements have been carried through a century and down a coastline. On the more casual side, the eatery’s New York–style deli lays hot dogs and philly cheesesteaks atop fresh buns and churns out gargantuan steak sandwiches that can feed up to five. Party platters fan out pasta dishes and cold cuts across banquet tables at birthdays or balloon animal art gallery openings.
Owner Jeff Cohen can still be found manning The Pizza Loft’s line more than 30 years after its inception, dishing up a menu of made-to-order Italian cuisine in an ultramodern kitchen wholly devoid of deep fryers and microwaves. Crafted by hand and topped with a robust homemade tomato sauce, the Loft’s piping panoply of pizzas is doughy shores bedecked with 100% real dairy mozzarella, fresh veggies, and hearty servings of sliced meatballs, ham, and sausage ($10.95+). Diners can scale the lasagna’s precarious layers, fixing pickaxes into its meat-packed peaks while scooping up the aromatic avalanche of a rich mushroom sauce ($11.95+). Plates of eggplant parmigiana, like Italy's organically grown supermodels, tastefully swathe themselves in stylish shrouds of spaghetti noodles ($13.95), and penne pasta dishes come sautéed-to-order in fragrant lochs of garlic butter or alfredo sauce ($9.95+).