Natural light pours in through the arched windows of Cara Mia Riverside Grill and reveals sweeping views of the Indian River as diners dig into linguine and calamari. In the kitchen, head chef Elizabeth Hanstein prepares house-made sauces from traditional Italian recipes and incorporates Mediterranean influences into dishes such as the chicken piccata, which finishes a mushroom-and-scallion chicken sautéed with a sherry wine sauce.
Forget pie cut vs. party cut?Cazoni's Pizza is out to totally transform the way you think about pizza, starting with its shape. Sure, the chefs here make a mean east coast-style pie, compiling toppings such as rib eye steak and eggplant on top of fresh homemade dough and sauce. But classic, circular pizzas are just the beginning: they also take those same ingredients and turn them into ricotta-stuffed calzones, rolled strombolis, and pinwheel-shaped boli rolls. Their signature dish, however, is the cazoni: described as a "pizza sandwich", the cazoni starts life as a sauce-less mound of dough that is stuffed with cheese and toppings, intricately folded, then topped with a layer of provolone. After emerging fresh from the oven, it's slathered with savory garlic butter, while marinara sauce is served only on the side for those who like to dip or splash a little behind their ears.
Beyond its multi-shaped pizza incarnations, Cazoni's cooks also whip up oven-baked chicken wings, sub sandwiches, and a handful of other specialties. And the dining room is just as fun as the food?walls are bedecked with Groucho-faced cartoon chefs, and the staff often hands out Groucho glasses that kids, adults, and families in Witness Protection can wear while they eat.
Each day, Marco's churns out freshly concocted sauces and house-made dough to construct a delicious assortment of palate-pleasing pies. The menu of specialty pizzas includes a strategic conglomeration of carnivorous delicacies, whimsical veggies, and a gooey triumvirate of cheese. With four types of classic pizza meats, the Meat Supremo packs enough protein to conquer a hoard of bloodthirsty Visigoths intent on sacking the Imperial LEGO forum. Gentle omnivores, however, represent additional food groups with the White Cheezy, which features butter-garlic sauce and a smattering of bacon over feta, onions, and tomatoes. Lettuce and Lotus-eaters can enjoy the vegetarian bliss of a specialty Garden pie or fashion their own flesh-free pizza from the ample selection of toppings.
A pair of fountains flank the striped awning outside Peppino's Ristorante Italiano, inviting diners to enjoy time-tested Italian dishes in a casual setting. Appetizers of fried calamari or escargot cognac pave the way for plates of pasta covered in one of nine sauces, ranging from the classic house marinara sauce to a rich white sauce with mushrooms. In addition to chicken and seafood entrees, Peppino's prepares their specialty veal chops six different ways so guests can try a different version of the veal chop all six days of the week.
The Bizzarro's Special takes a big appetite to tackle—a 24-inch crust smothered in cheese, sauce, and nine different toppings, including a meaty spread of pepperoni, beef, ham, and sausage. But there are options for the less ravenous too. The pizzeria's pies can be customized with any number of toppings or temporary tattoos, and the chefs will even tuck pepperoni and olives into specialty stuffed pizzas. The restaurant ventures into pasta dishes as well, with spaghetti served in a housemade plum-tomato sauce and chicken piccata doused in butter, white wine, and lemon juice. Those stopping in for just a quick bite should check out the salads and subs, including the eggplant parmigiana sub or the italian combo.