The pizza-making pros at Luigi’s Pizza & Pasta eschew sugar, oil, and eye of newt when forging their healthy, grease-free dough, which they bake directly atop sizzling hot bricks. In addition to loading these freshly flung crusts with Canadian bacon, spinach, and roasted garlic, they crown pastas with hand-rolled meatballs and ladles of homemade meat and alfredo sauces. They also help diners conclude their meals with a sweet crescendo by infusing desserts with coffee liqueur and rich ganache.
From the tomato-red columns running along the wall to the fresh green basil that garnishes dishes on its tables, the dining room at Palio’s Pizza Cafe bursts with color. Roma tomatoes, red peppers, and spicy, house-made red sauce paint thin, crisp pizza crusts. Farm-fresh salads host a kaleidoscope of colorful toppings, such as the Nutty Hawaiian's cashews, pineapples, and cranberries. By the entrance, the mural of a flamenco dancer brandishes a wine bottle like those used by waiters to pour out reds and whites. Above her head, the word Palio's unfurls like an artist's signature on canvas, lending a name to the colorful culinary scene.
Palio's chefs aim to make their dishes as healthful as they are vibrant. They craft crusts with whole-wheat or gluten-free dough upon request, and blend only fresh ingredients and locally sourced magic beans into their house-made pasta sauce.
Playtime Pizza entertains kids and adults with 70,000 square feet of long division–free fun. More than 140 games populate the facility’s two-story arcade, which encourages players to achieve new high scores on Dance Dance Revolution and on six miniature bowling lanes. Black lights cast a celestial spell across the mini golf course, where putters sink holes-in-one under the gaze of pirates and sea creatures, and on the bumper-car track, drivers spend time bouncing through the sea of cars. Smiles disappear only when mouths get sidetracked by pizza, one of the many finger-friendly food items that line the center’s expansive buffet spread.
The dough doyens at Za Za Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co. draw from a menu of authentic Italian eats, sizzling up Napoli-style wood-fired pizza, mixing fresh salads with locally sourced ingredients, and crafting house-made gelato from scratch. Guests can kick off their evening of chewing, chatting, and cowabungaing over a Perella pizza slathered with goat cheese, prosciutto, and garlic atop a crust made with imported Italian low-gluten flour ($12), or the tangy barbecue shrimp pizza with scallions and wood-oven roasted shrimp ($12.50). Otherwise, delve into one of the dozen specialty salads, including the asian salad blended with chicken tenders, mandarin oranges, and wonton crisps ($9.25), or mount a one-sided staring contest with the chefs as they blend custom salads tableside ($5.25 + $0.50–$4/ingredient). A scoop of silky gelato, which is made fresh in-house every morning ($3.75 for a small), joyously arrives at tables to conclude hearty nosh fests.
The NYPD menu, packed with appetizers, pizzas, calzones, pasta, heroes, and even dessert, revs you up to run down hunger in any number of flavorful vehicles. Dive into cheese with mozzarella sticks ($6.49), then float to the surface of a specialty mealwheel such as the Manhattan meat lovers' (10-inch, 14-inch, or 18-inch pie with pepperoni, meatballs, and bacon, $7.99, $14.99, $17.99). Or choose from more than 20 types of toppings such as fresh basil and sun-dried tomatoes to craft the Staten Island stuffed pizza, any two toppings and mozzarella crammed between two layers of pizza dough (18-inch only, $25.99). For a circle-free entree, grab a convict cheese calzone (mozzarella and ricotta, $7.99) or an eggplant parmigiana hero ($6.99) before finishing your sentence with a slice of authentically creamy NY cheesecake ($3.99).