Windows covering the wall let floods of natural light pour across servers who bear trays of pastas and pizzas through Sutera's Italian Restaurant, which has been in business for three decades. As night falls, domed hanging lights glow overhead like hovering spacecraft, illuminating a weathered wooden bar where wall compartments backed in vibrant red contain ranks of bottled wines. At tables, patrons tear into meatball subs and burgers with italian seasoning, causing traders in napkin futures to pull out their cell phones.
Originating as a post-performance reward for owner Annette's theater pals, Amore’s confectious rounds break the cupcake mold for creativity and deliciousness. Relieve summer-camp jitters with the large Smore Amore chocolate pizza ($29.95), studded with graham crackers and marshmallows. Or order the original break-a-leg recipe ($29.95 for large) with the works (marshmallows, peanuts, coconut crispies, white chocolate, and maraschino cherries) to get psyched before an epic one-woman performance of Shakespeare's spec script for Major Dad. Chocolate pizzas are also available in small ($11.95) and medium ($19.95) sizes, and in peanut-butter dreams and toffeelicious flavors.
Trezo Vino Wine Bistro deals in delicious and sharable plates coupled with an extensive wine collection. Discover new cooking and utensil-wielding techniques as you watch your soon-to-be-eatens be prepared in the restaurant's exhibition kitchen. Dinner items include favorites such as the Day Boat Scallops, served with crisp potato galette, grilled asparagus and pancetta aioli ($24), and the pasta al fungi, a freshly made spinach pasta with caramelized oyster and two varieties of mushroom ($17). For open-air appetites, Trezo Vino offers an outdoor patio with a special small plate menu, served nightly from 4 p.m.–10 p.m. Savor the chicken artichoke dip ($8) or the lobster mac, a cheesy monument to human innovation and crustacean defeat ($10).
Usually, appetizers are just something to tide you over until the real fun of the entree. But at Mio, an Italian Pizzeria, the first course is just as exciting as the main. People can begin their meal with bruschetta and an array of antipasto. The rest of their food will be fully prepared by executive chef Julian Viso, an internationally trained culinary artist whose specialties include baked pasta and Neapolitan pizzas with toppings such as lobster and shaved prosciutto. After dinner, groups can linger over bowls of gelato and bottles of wine sourced solely from Italian wineries.
Family is important at Cascone's Restaurant, a fact illustrated by the portraits adorning their lobby walls and the relatives working side by side in the kitchen and dining room since the first eatery opened four generations ago in 1954. Chef Victor Cascone draws from the family's Sicilian heritage to plate traditional pasta and meat dishes. He also draws inspiration from family members young and old to put a fresh spin on time-tested dishes, as evidenced by nachos made from pasta. That sense of camaraderie spreads to the restaurant's spacious banquet facilities, making it suitable venues for families gathering for birthday parties, rehearsal dinners, and spaghetti-slurping contests.
At two locations, The Other Place’s staff fires up ovens to bake pizzas, italian subs, and sandwiches to a golden brown—the color of Pharaoh’s mask after he eats a chocolate bar. Atop hand-made pizza crusts made from a 40-year-old recipe, the kitchen team layers toppings such as italian sausage, salami, and sun-dried tomatoes, lubricated by tomato, alfredo, and barbecue sauce. Submarine-shaped bread holds italian meats, veggies, and toppings. In both eateries’ dining areas, more than 50 TVs stream sports games. The Other Place also often entertains guests with karaoke—America’s most underappreciated sport, and the one with the least funding in most school districts.