The aliment artisans at the family-owned New York Pizza Company handcraft a menu of cheesy pies, sandwiches, calzones, and salads for midday and evening escapes to the Big Apple. Dough spinners knead and toss resilient pizza bases, which are then cooked to a customizable level of crispiness in a fiery stone oven; pizza is available with either original hand-tossed or thin crust. Mozzarella, italian herbs, and scratch-made sauce festoon the famous cheese pie ($5.99–$13.99), while italian sausage and pepperoni form a meat mosaic on The Deluxe pie ($7.99–$19.99), aptly enjoyed on-site or glued to a bedroom ceiling in lieu of glow-in-the-dark stars. Fresh calzones ($7.99–$8.99) buttress the bill of fare along with hero sandwiches such as the italian hero ($7.99), which is served hot or cold to assuage crippling fears of room temperature.
When racecar lovers get together to open a pizza place, RPM Pizza is what happens. The eatery keeps it casual—customers order signature stuffed pizzas or wings slathered in sauce at a walk-up counter, and the parking lot's pit crew is clad in flip-flops. To support its "go big or go home" attitude, staff members named pizzas after their favorite sport, with specialty pies including the Checker Flag, sprinkled with pepperoni and sausage, or the Burnout, with jalapeno, honey-habanero chicken, and savory tire marks.
Though Brucci's Pizza owner Bruce Jackson was born in Syracuse, New York, his grandparents hail from Italy, and he grew up feasting on Italian recipes that had been passed down through generations. At his restaurant, the chefs follow the same timeworn recipes as his grandparents when dishing up Italian favorites with a New York–style flair. They whip up lasagna layered with meatballs and italian sausage, grill paninis, and hand-toss housemade dough for pizzas, strombolis, and calzones. Their specialty pies include the Brooklyn—topped with diced tomatoes and fresh basil—and the Syracuse Stuffer—laden with sausage, beef, pepperoni, and ham, as well as green peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
But Brucci's Pizza is more than just an eatery—it's also a gathering place. In addition to weekly specials, the three locations host regular events. The Ponte Vedra and Fruit Cove locations host a Monday kids' night, and the West Beaches location facilitates live music twice a week, played by bands that are not made up of animatronic rodents. The chefs also issue a standing challenge: if any guest can devour a double-thick, 16-inch Fuhgeddaboudit pizza—smothered in seven toppings and gobs of extra cheese—within an hour, it's on the house.
Orhan Celeno doesn’t need fancy HD televisions or designer décor to run a successful pizzeria. His talents rest upon the thin, crispy crusts of New York–style pizzas, which he tosses by hand at Vino’s Pizza Grill House. Homemade marinara simmers in his kitchen’s pots before dressing pizza dough and Italian pasta dishes such as manicotti and baked ziti. Add-ons such as pepperoni, pineapple, or fresh tomatoes customize pies, and the kitchen also crafts old-world desserts, filling cannoli shells with sweetened cheese and smothering zeppolis with chocolate and powdered sugar.
Enthralled with the art of pizza-making, a trio of college students opened the first Mellow Mushroom 37 years ago in a former liquor establishment. Popularity bred new locations, doling out stone-baked pizzas sprinkled with unusual ingredients such as broccoli, pineapple, pesto chicken, caramelized onions, provolone cheese, and banana peppers. Chefs express their subconscious hoarding problems by stuffing a host of ingredients inside of calzones and hoagies, whose hearty compositions may be offset by crisp salads. Mellow Mushroom remains open late for night owls and offers catering services to help keep company meetings and divorce parties stress-free.
The chefs at Mixx craft an internationally inspired menu of modern classics such as house-made pastas, sushi, and wood-fired pizzas. Start off with the calamari fritti tossed with sundried tomato vinaigrette, basil, and lemon-caper remoulade ($9) before surprising your palate with the stuffed cannelloni fiorentina bursting with ground chicken, veal, besciamella cream, three cheeses, and spring-loaded rubber snakes ($10). House-cured salmon snuggles into a sushi roll with mascarpone cheese and a spicy lemon-caper tartar sauce ($10); the Alexa wood-fired pizza hoists a hefty serving of pesto and goat cheese, bacon, rosemary roasted apples, and caramelized onions ($13).
Though the chefs at Urban Flats spend every day baking gourmet flatbreads in their stone hearth, the task rarely bores them. They keep life interesting by crowning the whole-wheat bases with locally sourced and seasonally rotating ingredients such as curried chicken, breaded eggplant, and diced red peppers. Thankfully, the culinary variation isn’t limited to the flatbreads. Urban Flats also offers a full slate of wines that range from fragrant whites to spicy reds.