Chef Luca Della Casa sends out artfully designed small plates at Nosh, where "nearly everything is made in-house and it shows," according to my SanAntonio. Here, the chefs encourage diners to connect over shareable bites of gourmet cuisine. They serve plates of tagliatelle pasta with salmon and mushroom-and-parmesan fried risotto balls in a family-style manner—minus the traditional arm-wrestling match for the last slice of pizza. On the patio or inside the cozy dining room, diners can pair grownup snacks—such as cheese plates and truffle-oil french fries—with a wide variety of wines or specialty cocktails that rotate regularly.
The chefs at Stouts Pizza Co. knead handmade dough and let it rise for 12 hours every day before baking it into New York?style pizzas in their stone ovens. Stouts Pizza?s craftspeople transform 16-inch pies into canvases painted with 100% mozzarella cheese, homegrown-tomato sauce, and toppings such as Texas pepperoni, mushrooms, artichokes, canadian bacon, and fresh basil. The cheerful yellow dining room gives diners room to sip free refills of soda, and kids can avenge spelling-bee defeats in the game room.
It all began in 1989 when Cappy Lawton opened a 1950s-style pizza and burger joint in the hills of San Antonio. The place served pizzas fired in a brick oven, Angus burgers, authentic caesar salads, and hand-dipped milk shakes made with Blue Bell ice cream.
More than 20 years later, EZ’s is still serving the same made-from-scratch menu items with a few exceptions—in 2011, the team added healthier options such as organic spinach salads, wild-caught salmon, gluten-free pizzas and buns, whole-wheat pastas, and water from the fountain of youth. But the staff still handcrafts the pizza dough every morning and grills each burger patty to order. To make their signature Beanburger, cooks top the freshly grilled patties with cheddar, black beans, Fritos, picante, and guacamole.
The cooks at Orderup focus on the classics: burgers, fries, and shakes. Wielding hand-pressed patties, they craft signature burgers such as the La Bomba, which comes with cheddar, bacon, and a fried egg on a buttered bun, or versions with chicken, pork, and fish. The menu also showcases more than 10 shake flavors, including Mexican vanilla, banana, and nutella. Sides of honey-coconut sweet potato fries or serrano cheese fries round out a meal.
At Ciao Lavanderia, the revolving seasons dictate an eclectic menu of classic Italian spreads served amid a framework of dark red walls and crisp white tablecloths. To start, warm focaccia bread escapes the confinement of a wood-burning oven or overheated bounce house to rest alongside ambrosial rosemary, Italian herbs, and roasted red peppers. Capellini basilico leads a quartet of pastas, melodically uniting fresh tomatoes and olive oil among the drifts of angel-hair pasta. Diners can demolish the sausage-and-ricotta stratums of lasagna, or grapple with a tag team of prosciutto-wrapped pork and creamy herb polenta. Italian desserts cap off meals in a sweetened flurry as panna cotta arrives drenched in a fruity sauce and mouthfuls of chocolate gelato temporarily pause conversations or conceal diamond-studded bicuspids.