The strong-armed kitchen colossi of Hot Tomatoes hand-stretch disks of dough, slather them in sauce and cheese, and then fire them in a hearth oven to create a menu of unusual pies. The tortellini white pizza ($14.95+) lithely pirouettes cheese-stuffed pasta about its doughy dance floor alongside duos of fresh tomatoes and melted gorgonzola. Make a bet on flavorful odds with the clams casino pizza ($14.95+), where glitzy shellfish hangout on strips of bacon and roasted red pepper, blowing all their pearls on games of five-cheese stud. The eggplant and goat cheese pizza ($14.95+) overthrows herbaceous hungers with a revolution led by breaded eggplant, rebellious goat cheese, and other mercenary flavors. Foodsmiths carefully craft the shrimp and capers pizza ($12.95+), balancing powerful flavors in the saucy valley between the rising crests of crust, creating a stunning view for the ingredients and ostrich epicureans who have buried their face in the pizza.
Anna Arace pays meticulous attention to detail. As the owner of Trattoria Il Vesuvio, she transformed a former art studio housed inside a red barn-style building into an airy restaurant with exposed beams and cathedral ceilings. Whether she's in the kitchen mixing fresh seafood with tomato sauce, pinot grigio, and garlic to create the Frutti di Mare—one of her trademark Campania dishes—or travelling to New York for fresh red peppers to jar through the winter, her attention to detail works to ensure that every dish served is fresh and authentic. Along with Campania-influenced dishes, Arace also creates northern Italian classics such as the Lasagna di Verdura to pair with a selection of Italian wines. Popular appetizers include the lightly breaded fried calamari and the melenzane alla griglia, grilled eggplant that's been marinated for up to three days and forced to reflect on its mistakes.
Since 1903, The Orchard Tavern has been hindering hunger pains with a menu of classic sandwiches, salads, burgers, hearty dinners, and more. Protein gobblers or confused vegetarians can order up the meat-lovers pizza, a fresh dough sphere topped with cheese and a conglomerate of sausage, pepperoni, bacon, meatballs, and ham ($12.29). Those ordering for their brontosaurus sidekicks can sample the caesar salad filled with crisp romaine lettuce, onions, croutons, and parmesan cheese ($7.29). With its family-oriented atmosphere, warming fireplace, and historical Albany tradition, The Orchard Tavern is perfect for a hearty dinner with friends or as a warming refuge from an unexpected June blizzard.
The sauce-slingers at I Love NY Pizza spin dough for pies heaped with classic toppings, such as olives, garlic, and eggplant. Sausage- and pepperoni-studded pizzas decorate mouths with more panache than a diamond-encrusted tongue ring and vegetables such as spinach and broccoli add verdancy to sprawling pie fields. A large tossed salad crunches between teeth, and soda quenches thirst as dining companions pull apart cheesy slices. Meanwhile, a quartet of patrons settles down to two eight-cut pies after munching on an appetizer of mozzarella sticks. Free WiFi lets laptop-toting groups type to each other when their mouths are full, preserving table manners the way mothers always intended.
Soho Pizza’s menu allows diners to create their own pizza-topping ensemble or summon a prearranged gourmet food disc. The teriyaki chicken pizza is a mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce dojo in which teriyaki chicken breast senseis train with green-belt green peppers, white-belt mushrooms, and translucent-belt onions ($13.99 for a medium). Non-saucer noshings include ziti, ravioli, and stuffed shells ($6.49 and up), boneless and buffalo wings ($7.99 per dozen), hot subs with al dente pasta sauce and melted mozzarella cheese, and crisp, cool sandwiches. Soho's Pizza spins saucy LPs out of its record playing brick oven until 2 a.m. 364 days a year.
V & R Italian Ristorante nestles visitors in a quiet, low-key atmosphere, provisioning them with feasts of hearty Italian American baked pastas and steaks, as well as delicate seafood plates and colorful leaves of broccoli raab. Like Garibaldi's celebratory pizza party after the Capture of Rome, the bill of fare unites northern and southern Italy through the medium of food, serving dulcet slices of tiramisu along with southern specialties, such as a spicy penne alla arrabbiata. Seafood dishes feature prominently on the menu, with shrimp swimming in piquant fra diavolo sauce, and scallops soaking up a rich white-wine-and-butter concoction. Beef ribs and broiled pork chops satisfy carnivorous cravings with tender, juicy flavor and texture.