Under the on-site supervision of Brooklyn-ite owner and longtime pizza sage Omar, Roma Pizza’s pie-throwers skillfully knead their dough, slather on a potent combination of rich sauce and cheese, and bake until crusts are golden and bubbly. The thin crust and wide circumference of this authentic New York–style pizza will have you dreaming wistfully of quiet cobbled streets in Italy or screaming cabbies in Queens. A savory series of preconceived pies includes such crust-framed masterworks as the BBQ Chicken ($10.99–$16.99), Meat Lovers ($11.99–$16.99), and Hawaiian pizzas ($11.99–$16.99). Solo pie-packers include a hearty array of artichokes, roasted red peppers, spicy jalapenos, and a bevy of other delectable adornments. Calzones stuffed with ricotta and mozzarella cheeses range from traditional pepperoni or sausage ($9.99) to the shocking avant-garde of folded foods—the Philly cheesesteak ($10.99). Hot and cold subs are all priced at $6.99 and come dressed with your choice of cheese. Open seven days a week, Roma Pizza is constantly at the ready to serve a quick lunchtime slice to daytime workers or a dozen large pies to protesters rallying for more lenient cheese laws.
Forging a happy medium between the silver spoons of white-tableclothed fine dining and the greasy spoons of the neighborhood greasy spoon, Portobello’s Grill serves lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch in both its dining room and airy outdoor patio. The dinner tuba heralds the arrival of a pair of savory fire-grilled pork chops ($17.99) or cedar-roasted salmon ($17.99) dolloped with creole lemon cream. The Grill's namesake, the grilled portobello sandwich, is a bread-bookended pile of grilled mushroom and eggplant slices backed up by pepper jack, spinach, tomatoes, onions, and mayo, and is more suited to midday cravings ($10.50). Accidentally conjoined mad scientists can share a brunch of sweet and savory delights when they order bananas-foster french-toast ($13.99) and crab-cakes benedict smothered in creolaise sauce ($13.99).
LPK Bar & Grill's wood-burning ovens have been toasting handmade pizzas and Italian specialties for more than two decades. Today, their griddles also sizzle hearty American fare, such as steaks, burgers, and ribs, which waiters set on tabletops beneath glimmering widescreen TVs and a colorful panorama of an Italian street scene. LPK Bar & Grill also supports healthy eating with veggie-stuffed pita wraps, wheat alternatives to many dishes, and a dining room that is completely rattlesnake-free.
East of Italy serves up a menu of flavorfully fused Cajun and Italian plates, tantalizing taste buds with a unique dining experience. Local noon-time noshers can excavate layers of stacked sandwiches such as the Italian Special, a gravity-challenging product of gastronomy that tops pepperoni, ham, and salami with mozzarella cheese, black olives, and red onions before snuggling them between signature baked bread ($6.95). Dinnertime brings generously portioned plates such as the fettuccine alfredo, with garlicky notes paying tribute to an Italian classic ($10.95), and the lobster ravioli, dressed with a creamy pesto-cilantro sauce to nod toward stateside flavors ($13.95). Slice savorers can sink teeth into an array of nine pizzas ($11.95–$16.95) that includes the meatlovers, topped with pepperoni, italian sausage, ground beef, chicken, and ham, and the pesto chicken, sprinkled with pesto sauce, grilled chicken, and flavorful veggies. Creative types can catalyze their inner cook by building their own pie sans sauce gun or cheese saw using a list of both standard and premium toppings ($6.95+). Today’s Groupon is also good for East of Italy’s happy hour (daily from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.), which features a bevy of $5 martinis, unlike other venues' miserly hours where drinks cost twice as much.
In the kitchen at Fat Molly’s, the hands of chefs flutter above sheets of marinara-cloaked dough, scattering inventive toppings such as gulf shrimp, artichokes, and boudin. Athletic events broadcast on four flat-screen TVs, augmenting the clatter of silverware with the sounds of cracking bats and mascots with their tails under rocking chairs. Drawing upon a selection of meats including fried chicken and smoked sausage, patrons design their own poor boys. Tearing into the sandwiches despite their warmth, they take swigs from 30 beer options, including Abita Purple Haze and Lazy Magnolia’s brown ale crafted from roasted pecans, which bestow the mash with earthy caramel flavors. The eatery's walls are festooned with works by local artists, ranging from a triptych of a jazz musician to an abstract of a stacked sandwich and a poignant deconstrionist piece by the back door, which reads, simply "Exit."
Affable waiters emerge from Caffe Fresca's kitchen toting bowls of piping hot soup du jour, homemade desserts, and gourmet entrees. Ten specialty sandwiches tempt guests with fillings such as grilled portobello mushrooms, Genoa salami, and smoked turkey. Fresh seafood platters, steaks and chops, and pasta entrees round out the menu and pair palatably with homemade desserts. A recently remodeled dining area with three-toned tiled flooring, wood tables, and chandeliers encourages diners to linger and sip a libation from the bar or discuss the latest in drinking straw innovations.
Guided by the experience of head chef Vincent Manguno, Nuccio’s Seafood & Italian Restaurant pleases palates of all types with a menu stocked full of seafood entrées, savory Italian dishes, and daily chef specials. Coronate a meal with friends or accentuate a debate about the existence of giraffes with an appetizer, such as Nuccio’s eggplant sticks ($6.95) or artichoke and spinach dip ($7.95). Italian meatball sandwiches ($8.95) satiate stomachs with the meaty harmony of an edible Kenny G, while fettucini alfredo ($10.95) beguiles taste buds and forks. Nuccio’s Seafood & Italian Restaurant maintains an inviting, family atmosphere, ideal for a romantic first date or meeting your blind date’s parents.