At Fortesa, diners entwine forks with specialty pastas and Italian staples on an outdoor patio that overlooks downtown Rochester and Paint Creek or inside a dining room lit with elevated candelabras. After perusing the menu, friends and families can acclimate taste buds to the flavors of Italy with a house side salad and the shrimp fortesa with garlic-and-lemon sauce. Diners then sink their fangs into the potato-parmesan gnocchi with truffle oil or don flippers to justify the freshness of the lobster-, shrimp-, and crabmeat-laden seafood fettuccine. Carve up a filet mignon in a truffle demu-glace or slice through the deep-maroon center of perfectly cooked lamb chops ai ferri in a port wine reduction.
Zaa! Simply Unique Pizza's oven technicians build their menu of eclectic pizzas on a foundation of thin, fresh crusts. After artisan pies are smothered with cheese sliced daily and a bounty of toppings, staff swiftly deliver steaming pizzas—such as the spinach-and garlic-coated Popeye Zaa ($9 for medium, $14 for large)—to tables. The Woodward Ave Zaa ($9 for medium, $14 for large) piles charred pepperoni, meatballs, and jalapeños upon its base like a general mounting tiny weapons on his cap. Each customizable Neapolitan creation can be strewn with salami or ornamented with artichoke hearts ($1 on medium, $2 on large). An array of Zaandwiches ($7.25) fit delectable barbecue chicken or veggies inside eminently portable bread casings.
Since 1968, Vendetti's has dished out Italian subs, salads, pizza, and pasta to a loyal clientele. The eponymous "Spanky" (a homemade sub roll stuffed with mozzarella, pepperoni, and signature red sauce for $5.75), is served fresh daily with a cup of oil and vinegar that it cannot resist dunking its dense, bready head in. Other favorites include meatball, grilled-chicken, and veggie subs and the turkey antipasto brimming with lettuce, turkey, swiss cheese, tomatoes, black olives, and pepper rings ($6.95). Take home a pizza ($6.49–$7.99) or family pasta dinner (serves five to eight people for $24.95) laden with homemade meat sauce and parmesan, plus salad and bread, to feed your family/friends/life-size cardboard cutouts of the 1974 Cincinnati Bengals. Enjoy a low-key meal in Vendetti's dining room, or carry out and dine at home, in the park, or on the roof of your old high school.
Alfoccino's culinarians merge Old World flavors with a homemade spread of tasty breads and savory sauces to forge an inimitable Italian dining experience within a bright and lavish milieu. Served square or round, the dinner menu’s troika of fresh pizzas includes the Boss’s Special, which imbues taste buds with beef tenderloin and crisp veggies ($16.95 for a small; $25.95 for a large). Unfurl bibs for saucy rendezvous with hearty half slabs of ribs ($15.25), or unbridle galloping appetites in a hunt for the Italian Stallion’s meaty mélange of imported salami, ham, provolone, and signature Italian dressing ($9.50). Escorted by slurp-ready sides of spaghetti and bottomless bowls of salad, the eggplant parmigiana bedecks its lightly breaded frame in decadent strata of house-made tomato sauce and fresh cheeses ($15.95). Midday diners can peruse a similar lunch menu that brims with salads, pastas, and sandwiches while taking a much-needed break from business meetings or executive-level staring contests.