Since its first pizzeria opened in 1978 in Palo Alto, Mountain Mike’s Pizza has stretched to encompass more than 150 restaurants throughout the West Coast. From the meat-laden Pike’s Peak to the vegetarian-friendly Mt. Veggiemore, 12 specialty pizzas—most of them named after mountains—arrive in portions from small to extra large, which can feed up to eight patrons or spark nostalgia in homesick, city-dwelling mountain goats. Diners can also choose their own conglomeration of ingredients, ranging from Louisiana-style hot links to sun-dried tomatoes, and supplement pies with an all-you-can-eat salad bar or a quintet of appetizer options including wings and jalapeño poppers.
The San Francisco Chronicle highlighted Gaspare's Pizzeria Ristorante Bar in its "Pizza of the Week" feature in 2008, in part due to the cooks who "work the dough like artists" to create the 27 different pies. Owned and operated by Gaspare, Daniel, and Robin Indelicato since 1985, the flagship San Francisco location showcases a vintage flair. The dining room sports murals of Bay Area scenes and jukeboxes blasting Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin tunes. There’s even a ceiling draped with grapevines and bottles of chianti, which the servers trained to think they are bats. A second location opened in San Rafael in 2007. For his menu of Italian cuisine, Gaspare draws on his upbringing in Siculiana, Sicily, baking pans of bubbling lasagna alongside pizzas such as the feta-flecked mediterranean special. To round out meals, Robin Indelicato bakes her signature New York–style cheesecake and Italian-style tiramisu, which patrons may pair with espresso or a glass of imported Italian wine.
When you accidentally plant tomato seeds instead of building a treehouse for your children, you'll have to learn how to put a tomato to good use. Today's Groupon gives you a tasty education in the red fruitgetable with $20 worth of Italian cuisine at Tomatina for $10. Bring a flavorful tutorial to your palate with professorial pizzas and pastas straight from the tomato academy.
In the kitchen of Mauro's Pizza & Pasta, cooks make yeast-leavened dough by hand using organic flour as other cooks slow-cook tomato sauce with locally grown organic vegetables and herbs. Handcrafted signature pizzas such as the Genovese sport artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto, and custom pies are available in diverse combinations. For takeout, daily entree specials include artichoke lasagna with tomato-cream sauce and handmade ravioli pouches stuffed with butternut squash and walnut-sage brown butter—each designed to fill family dinner tables or family neck-mounted trays if tables have already been eaten.
Named after the owner's uncle, who was a WWII vet, Rocco's Pizza doles out a menu of fresh Italian cuisine. Made-from-scratch dough is rolled daily into more than 15 styles of pizza, forming a foundation for the meat-free combination of greens that composes a gourmet vegetarian pie (12", $19.75) and a battlefield where pineapple, sausage, and garlic can trade zesty punches with steel-knuckled onions to create a spicy sausage special (16", $26.60). A dish of linguine ai frutti di mare ($11.95) catches a cluster of ocean clams and shrimp in its noodly net, and a meatball sandwich ($6.75) packs red sauce, meatballs, onions, and cheese into a french sweet-roll sleeping bag. Customers can check the rest of Rocco's menu for appetizers, fresh salads, and juicy beef or chicken burgers while kicking back in the causal pizzeria, which features a flat-screen TV and room for 50 diners to play musical chairs.
Novato Café’s chef Marx Passos mans steaming pots and pans to forge a dinner menu of time-tested plates crowned with colorful sprays of fresh veggies. At the sound of the dinner bell, creamy avocado-and-bacon-cloaked cheeseburgers ($12) drive up napkin demand, and the Boston clam chowder ($6; available Fridays and Saturdays) fits swimmingly alongside a baby spinach salad, decorated with tomatoes, red onions, black olives, and cucumbers and blanketed in choice of dressing ($6 for small; $9 for large). Plates piled high with thin cuts of tenderized pan-fried steak ($9) and fillets of sautéed salmon ($12) swirl through the air from the kitchen to the table, providing the perfect opportunity to chow down and film a UFO hoax in the same night.