Using Italian recipes handed down over generations, the cooks at Serino's Pizzeria and Pub knead fresh dough to coat with house-made sauce, then pile on pure mozzarella cheese. Servers also carry out dozens of hot sandwiches, grilled paninis, subs, and burgers for diners to eat as they lean back against exposed-brick walls. When hunger for a hot-giardiniera-and-italian-beef pizza strikes, diners can eat in to enjoy the ambiance, call in to pick up orders at the drive-thru or request delivery to make sure hot wings don't flutter out car windows while they're watching the road.
After main courses, there's only one dessert on the menu at Serino's: a deep-dish, housemade chocolate-chip cookie, served smothered in vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and a cherry, all drizzled in chocolate sauce. The catering menu supplies hosts and hostesses with even more portable chocolate or macadamia cookies, as well as traditional Italian entrees.
Cousins Pizza Pub boasts a menu of specialty pizzas padded with sandwiches and salads. Appetizers such as fried zucchini ($6) and mini tacos ($6.25) introduce pizzas founded on a range of crusts including thin, double-dough, pan, and stuffed. The cheeseburger pizza protects its cargo from roving Hamburglars by offering a pizza disguise to beef, american cheese, mayo, lettuce, and tomato ($16.50–$24), and chicken alfredo pizza tops pies with grilled chicken and a cream sauce usually reserved for flavoring pastas and styling angel hair ($13.50–$20). The strip steak sandwich also offers an alternative delivery system for a forkable classic accented by onions and a choice of american, mozzarella, or swiss cheeses ($9.50), and the Julienne salad mingles turkey and ham with cheese and hard-boiled egg ($7.25).
Sergio Abate journeyed to Illinois from Naples with an arsenal of homemade recipes for creamy pasta dishes and Italian favorites in tow. Eager to share his culinary heritage with his new community, Sergio enlisted the aid of four fellow chefs and spearheaded Sergio’s Cucina Italiana. Here, they fold tender meats and fresh seafood into a variety of authentic pasta dishes and traditional Italian specialties, infusing meals with fresh herbs, extra-virgin oils, and generous amounts of garlic. For dessert, they whip up chocolaty cannoli dotted with dried fruit and decadent crème brûlée sprinkled in real Italian lira.
Customers await their meals at white-clothed tables in the elegant dining room, where they clink glasses of red and white international wines. They bask beneath the soft glow of chandeliers, which cast a twinkle on the colorful paintings speckling the warm yellow walls.
With three cuisine-savvy brothers at the helm, Villaggio's Ristorante unfurls a tricolor flag of classic Italian dining in a boisterous, custard-colored space punctuated by stately roman columns. Tables quiver under heaping house specialties such as veal medallions, which don new aromas in one of nine traditional cooking styles, and fresh pastas tossed with fish, mussels, or scallops and served in a sizzling clay pot.
The cellar's nearly 100 wines complement Italian flavors and inspire reinvented traveling songs for sommelier road trips, and Fridays flaunt live performances by area musicians. Expansive banquet facilities bolstered by prix fixe banquet menus make for tasty shindigs in the restaurant's cheery celebration space.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
Ristorante Amalfi has been serving up traditional Italian cuisine for more than 20 years, and proffers an expansive menu that ranges from pasta and veal to chicken and seafood. Open up cuisine ports for delicious docking vessels of appetizers, such as eggplant rolled with ricotta and mozzarella before raising a stomach mast to accommodate a hearty entree ($7.95). Like the three musketeers, the linguine, shrimp, and broccoli form a dynamic trio and ride horseback through forests of teeth ($19.25). Also escorting a fleet of flavor to the taste buds is the veal marsala, assembled with flotillas of fresh mushrooms and scallions in a dry marsala wine sauce ($23.95). Seafood devotees can welcome the zuppa di pesce, a bonanza of clams, mussels, shrimp, baccalà, and calamari steamed in a scrumptious marinara and delivered to the table on a bed of linguini ($26.95).