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.
The sage chefs of Trattoria Il Vesuvio's kitchen use recipes passed on through generations to coax rich, classic flavors from a menu of traditional Italian dishes. The melanzane alla griglia ($8.99) plates paper-thin slices of eggplant marinated in garlic, mint, and red-wine vinegar for up to three days before being grilled and ultimately served cold, like a polar bear's revenge. Baby clams and mussels coast across waves of red-wine tomato sauce and linguini in the fra diavolo ($20.99), while culinary architects lay a foundation of homemade pasta beneath load-bearing layers of eggplant, braised spinach, and cheese to create the lasagna di verdure ($18.99). Wield sharpened steak knives to slice through 12 ounces of sirloin coated in a mushroom and marsala sauce from the bistecca al funghi ($23.99). Chefs slow-roast the osso buco veal shank ($33.99) before serving it over risotto to give the meat a more tender texture than sealing it in a bag with Otis Redding’s greatest hits album.
Sun streams through big windows at The Eatery at Carol's Place as diners sip on steaming cups of coffee and choose from an extensive menu of breakfast and lunch comfort food. Breakfast options include a variety of sandwiches and wraps, sweet delights such as belgian waffels and fluffy pancakes, and family-style breakfast options to share, such as a breakfast pizza with eggs and cheese. Lunch brings classic diner fare such as hearty salads, a make-your-own sandwich bar, burgers, and signature dishes such as Carol's "Famous" Open Faced Meatball or Eggplant Sub with housemade sauce. The casual restaurant evokes a homey feeling with a chalkboard menu, vases of cut flowers, and a cozy corner bookshelf.
Moscatiello’s kitchen craftsmen fill bellies with a plethora of authentic italian breads, sauces, and sausages made fresh daily. At the dinner menu's dramatic climax, alfredo-drenched chicken-tender warriors astride a wild tangle of fettuccine face down hungry stomachs four times their size armed only with a few shreds of romano cheese ($17.99). Pasta whisperers can also cloak portobello mushrooms in ravioli slickers before drizzling them in a creamy red sauce ($15.99), or hide fugitive roast salmon in a verdant salad forest of fresh greens and asparagus ($13.99). Pair any meal with a subtly flavored selection from the wine list or a squeal of complaint from the whine list.
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.
A lot can happen over the course of 55 years. People come and go, babies are hatched, and kids grow up. But some things never change, things like the family recipes used at Valente’s Restaurant. The Valentes opened the eatery back in 1958, and since then, have been serving many of the same dishes Nadine Valente created in Italy all those years ago.
The menu features a wide variety of familiar Italian classics, from veal cacciatore to fettucine carbonara, all served alongside grilled-to-order steaks, chops, and fresh seafood. It also features the more recently invented Three Little Pigs mac ’n’ cheese, which coats noodles, Italian ham, bacon, and salami in a creamy cheese sauce. This award-winning favorite is now available frozen at Price Chopper Supermarkets and other local stores.