Although best known for its hand-tossed pizzas made from dough baked fresh daily, Esposito's Pizza complements its marinara-doused mandalas with a delectable array of Italianate appetizers and entrees. The Four Seasons pizza (14", $17.49) arranges a baroque quartet of artichoke, mushrooms, ham, and onion atop a stage of cheese, and the meat-combo pizza (14", $17.49) packs in enough animal flesh to legally be considered livestock. Otherwise, put an artist's signature on your own pizza ($8+) by pairing pepperoni, spinach, and mushrooms with more adventurous flavors such as pineapple, jalapeños, and moon rock. Esposito's accommodates boot-shaped appetites as well as circular ones with the Taste of Italy's tour of chicken-cutlet parmigiana, meatballs, and baked ziti ($15.95).
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+).
The cooks at Cannoli Kitchen shepherd every plate from conception to consumption on the premises to fill their menu with fresh pizzas, pastas, and Italian desserts to feed parties of any size. Large tomato-basil pies ($17.99) eclipse tables and stars that are 18 inches in diameter, and pasta prisms of baked meat lasagna ($8.49) arrive flanked by a slice of garlic bread and a house salad or side of escarole and beans. Families can sit in or pick up spinach and broccoli stromboli ($6.49) and bubbling eggplant-parmesan subs ($6.99) to munch on in the comfort of their home. Crown meals with a toothsome top hat of creamy, chocolate-dipped cannoli ($2.79 each, $27 dozen). From the catering menu, a large tray of spaghetti marinara ($55) serves 10–12 hungry noodle twirlers, and orders of mozzarella sticks ($45) arrive in 50-piece increments to stock parties or edible Jenga tournaments.
Old habits die hard for the Delgardios. The family opened its first pizzeria in 1937, setting up shop along Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. This New York connection remained so strong that when the Delgardio family opened a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale in 1976, they chose to name it GG's of New York.
The third generation of family members now runs the casual, family-style pizzeria and Italian eatery, using decades-old recipes to prepare everything from lasagna and manicotti to shrimp scampi and veal Milanese. Thick, Sicilian-style pizzas can emerge from the ovens with as many as 18 different toppings, or even handfuls of the available gourmet toppings, including steak and calamari.
From the red-checkered tablecloths to the black-and-white photographs on the brick walls, GG's of New York aims to create an inviting, homestyle vibe. According to the Sun Sentinel, "it's like having a meal at your Italian grandparents' home—even if you're not Italian."
Jimmy Jax sports saucy and savory lunch and dinner menus that boast a boney bounty of baby-back ribs from the award-winning ribsperts at Michelbob’s ($9.99 half rack, $14.99 full rack), alongside other sauceable, sliceable palate pleasers. Chomp down on a Chicago-style thin-crust or new deep dish pizza loaded with cheeses imported from Italy and Wisconsin ($7.99–$14.99 for thin-crust or $10.99–$18.99 for deep dish) and covered with your choice of tasty toppings ($1.49 each), ranging from Italian sausage and Genoa salami to ethnically ambiguous tomatoes, green peppers, and anchovies. Lunch and dinner plates include comforting mouthfuls of smoked barbecue pulled pork ($7.99) and melt-iculously viscid five-cheese macaroni ($7.99 dinner), and suppertime combos ($11.99) pair the restaurant's signature rib-sticking rib racks with one of six other signature tastes (served with a garlic knot and choice of three sides).
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.