Cafe 322's homey atmosphere and fare will remind you of your Italian grandmother’s dinner table. Try a different lasagna each day ($10.95) with the lasagna de la casa, or opt for the sophisticated mélange of flavors in the fettuccini di spinaci e salsiccia with fresh spinach, Italian sausage, and fresh garlic sautéed in olive oil ($11.95). Cafe 322 also serves up some tasty meatier dishes, such as braised lamb shanks, slow braised so they fall off the bone and directly into that place in your heart reserved for mom, America, and lamb ($14.95). Smaller plates include salads, sandwiches, grilled panini, and burgers. Stars of the gourmet pizza menu include the quatro formaggio (layered with fontina, mozzarella, gorgonzola, and parmesan cheeses, $11.95) and the flavorful grilled chicken pesto ($13.95).
Capers, cilantro pesto, barbecue chicken: these ingredients, along with more than 30 others, can top pizzas at Villaggio Pizzeria. Dough handlers craft build-your-own pies as well as California-style ones, which come crowned with West Coast–inspired toppings such as chipotle pesto and olive tapenade. The pies share a menu with other classic pizzeria treats, including buffalo wings, jumbo cheese ravioli, and oven-baked subs with housemade meatballs.
Backed by more than 25 years of tasty tradition, Carmine's chefs—who have been starlit in several local media outlets—placate hungry palates with a traditional Italian menu. Begin the eating extravaganza with a savory starter of sautéed mushrooms ($6.25), bruschetta ($6.50), or one of many homemade soups ($4.25). The bountiful blend of sautéed, diced chicken breast, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini takes a scrumptious snooze atop a bed of rotelli pasta in the chicken primavera ($15.50), and lightly fried fresh eggplant joins forces with mozzarella, romano cheese, hard-boiled egg, and marinara sauce in the eggplant parmigiana ($13.50). Gracious guests can also take on a two-dimensional dish, such as the barbecue-chicken pizza—dressed with tender chicken breast, red onion, cilantro, mozzarella, and barbecue sauce ($14.75 for a 12").
Growing up in Torre Del Greco in Naples, Italy, Rosario and Maria Ulloa-Severino learned the ins and outs of the restaurant industry from their families. After moving to the United States, the pair worked for years in the industry. Rosario served as a manager at such restaurants as Da Pasquale, while Maria honed her craft in the kitchen. Now at the helm of their own eatery, the couple welcome guests with such hearty Italian dishes as housemade gnocchi, filled with potato and drizzled with basil-laden tomato sauce. Other entrees include tender veal medallions and seafood stew filled with oceanic delicacies as shrimp, lobster, and whispered promises of marriage from sea-infatuated sailors.
Founded in 1983 as a delivery-focused business, Pinocchio's Pizza began crafting New York–style pizzas in its current high-ceilinged home three years ago. As topping-strewn pies and house-made pastas travel from the kitchen into the wood-paneled dining room, guests monitor nearby flat-screen TVs tuned to football and professional staring leagues and sip wine and beer in a semi-enclosed arched bar area. As the notes of live jazz float over tables on Saturday nights, private shindigs take place in a nearby banquet room, where chandeliers look down benevolently at special events.
Johnny Rockets' menu and kids’ menu win a lot of awards, particularly for fresh, never-frozen hamburgers. Chase them with fries and onion rings and wash it all down with a fountain drink such as a deluxe hand-dipped oreo cookies and cream shake, root beer float, or flavored soda pop (cherry or vanilla). If you're more partial to poultry, Johnny Rockets also offers grilled chicken breast sandwiches and crispy chicken club salads. Johnny Rockets' cream and red Eisenhower-era décor, tabletop jukeboxes, and smiling, dancing servers make it feel like an Archie comic (but not the issue where Archie gets drafted).