Galactic murals and metallic rails grace a comfortably modern chomping environment that's home to pizzas made with fresh spices, vine-ripened tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, and premium toppings. Flying Saucer Pizza's menu features a bevy of pie options along with a host of salads and pastas. Pizza connoisseurs can begin with a blank-canvas cheese pie as the backdrop for a palette of toppings like blue cheese, Canadian bacon, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, carrots, sprouts, red cabbage, pepperoncinis, and more ($4.75 for an 8-inch before toppings). When inspiration runs dry, a list of specialty pizzas can be called upon. The Cosmic Clucker blends barbecue sauce, roasted chicken, bacon, artichoke hearts, green onions, and cilantro ($7.45 and up), and veggie pizzas feature the likes of the Dr. Zaius pie with spicy peanut sauce, pineapple, carrots, sprouts, red cabbage, chopped nuts, basil, and sesame seeds ($6.75 and up).
The handmade, fresh pizzas and specialty pies at Bella Kitchen are constructed in the classic New York style, which feature foldy-thin crusts, humorously neurotic toppings, and a gruff exterior that hides the heart of a lonely romantic. Signature dough disc selections such as the chicken garlic (with green pepper, tomato, green olive and onion, $9.95—$19.95) or the herbivore-happifying roasted veggie pie (with artichoke, sun-dried tomatoes, red peppers, and eggplant, $9.95–$19.95) are sure to please pizza-craving poets. The indecisive, meanwhile, can get pretty much everything atop a super special ($10.95–$19.95). To keep a hand open for impromptu swashbuckling, opt for portable pocket pizza with the spinach and feta calzone ($8.95). Bella Kitchen also sells pastas, subs, and salads.
Hailing from the Italian island of Sardinia, Fabrizio Loi graduated with honors from Italy's national culinary college. He's put that experience to good use as the owner and head chef at Ristorante Paradiso. There, Fabrizio orchestrates a menu of classic Italian dishes. But instead of strictly adhering to traditional recipes or reading the instructions embedded into every lasagna noodle, Fabrizio puts his own spin on things. Diners reap the benefits of Fabrizio's culinary creativity when they sit down for gourmet pizzas at lunch, or dinner dishes such as cannelloni gratinati—pasta crepes stuffed with ground veal, chicken, and mozzarella and enhanced with a tomato and besciamelle sauce.
A lion's head stands guard over the brick oven at Pizzeria Guido & Wine Bar, bearing its fearsome jaws at any who would try to pilfer the restaurant's family recipes. Thankfully, the only way most diners attempt to gain insight into the establishment's Tuscan traditions is through the food. Slivers of buffalo mozzarella, basil, and fresh tomatoes accent antipasti plates in the colors of the Italian flag, and the wood-fired oven spills forth the aromas of prosciutto, capers, and fontina cheese topping pizzas and filling calzones. Glasses of Italian wine click together in the halos of steam rising from pastas. Waiters move through the spacious dining room, and their white dress shirts and smart red ties complement the wall's gentle orange and yellow tones, which call to mind the warming glow of a sunset or a haunted ventriloquist dummy finally burning.
Restaurant owner Salvatore Lembo enjoys greeting his guests as soon as they walk in the door. As the night wears on, he might drop by their table to chat and ask how they like the homemade gnocchi or recommend a selection from the wine list, which includes dozens of bottles from Tuscany, Sicilia, and California. Meanwhile, the aroma of fresh basil and tomato sauce fills the dining room along with the sounds of Italian opera music. The singers’ soaring voices combined with the flickering candlelight, terra-cotta floors, and starched linens set the stage for romantic evenings between couples or a golfer and his favorite sand wedge.
Bella Vita offers a menu of authentic Italian entrees, traditional weekend brunch, and an expansive, international wine list set amid an inviting interior spotted with low-hanging lights and sleek marble accents. Once the green-napkin flag has been waved, diners are free to tear around the entree track, crashing into Arista alla Milanese, featuring braised pork shoulder stewed in white wine and sage, topped with a sausage-and-bacon sauce, and served snuggled with potatoes ($18). Smoked stacks of salmon fettuccini alfredo will impress even the most critical mermaid dates ($19), as will antipasti dishes such as the olive-oiled caprese ($10) and the gamberi rossi, featuring sautéed prawns with shallots and fresh tomatoes in a white-wine sauce ($12).