For more than 55 years, the Verdicchio family has satisfied appetites for Italian fare with a menu of expertly crafted pizzas, sandwiches, pastas, and house-made sauces. Pies are selectively bred into a mouthwatering menagerie of red- and white-sauce specimens, such as the bacon-topped bianca romano ($10.50–$16.95) and the pleasantly pastoral garlic-and-basil pizza rustica ($9.75–$14.95). Sandwiches, pastas, and entrees—such as a tantalizing pollo valdostana ($15.95) served in a white-wine-and-cream sauce—grace plates with flavorful aplomb, and a full quiver of wine, beers, and coffee beverages eagerly awaits matchmaking with sought-after meals.
The poultrygeists at Cluck-U glorify grilled, fried, and buffaloed bird with a Southern-style bill of fare devoted to the chicken. Diners debate dressings for buffalo wings, choosing from 15 different flavors such as Cluckster's hot, mustard barbecue, and Fiery 911 sauce, which requires a signed waiver and back-up set of taste buds. Six pieces of fried-to-order light meat, dark meat, or a combination of each come standard or, like an amicable bee, bearing a satchel of honey. Three buttermilk biscuits buttress main courses, and seven sides vie to rub elbows with entrees, prompting mac 'n' cheese to plump its profile with four types of dairy and mashed potatoes to reinforce its gravy boat with cannons.
Bagel Garden's dough slingers bake 18 to 20 types of bagels daily for a menu of sandwiches smeared with cream cheese or stuffed with meats, cheeses, and veggies. With more than a dozen spreads, patrons can blanket bagels in freshly blended flavors or pay homage to van Gogh’s masterpiece, Scalliony Morning, by daubing a blank bagel canvas with smudges of bacon, scallion, and herb cream cheese ($0.90 for a bagel; $2.10–$2.76 for a bagel and cream cheese).
For Sean Ulley, the owner Smokehouse Barbecue in Somerville, grilling meats is a family tradition; his father runs his own barbecue joint in Andover. To infuse ribs, brisket, and pulled pork with deep flavor, Sean seasons the cuts with a dry rub and smoke them for up to 17 hours—as deliciously described in the Somerville Today. The cooks also make good use of their fryer, deep-frying everything from corn on the cob to Oreos. Patrons can also opt for fried chicken, burgers, or Creole dishes such as the Louisiana Steampot—a medley of clams, mussels, crawfish, and shrimp served over rice and garnished with a strand of sautéed Mardi Gras beads. In the summer and spring, diners can head to an outdoor patio to eat in the warmth of the sun.
At Candyland Crafts, candy makers and cake decorators choose from more than 10,000 products, sifting through collections of candy molds, fondants, cake toppers, and themed-party packages to create the toothsome displays in their heads. Candyland Crafts' site itself serves as a resource, bursting with 4,000 sqnumerous candy- and cake-crafting guides designed specifically for first-time artists or super-intelligent M&Ms seeking to build their own city.
An extensive selection of icings includes edible glitter, airbrushable icing, and gels. Unicorn and frog molds give lollipops a creative look, while letter and number molds let customers eat a balanced diet filled with a variety of fonts.
After honing their pizza-making craft at the helm of Paisano’s in Watchung, Greg Oliva and Jimmy Nelson opened the doors to Amici Pizzeria in Raritan, where they produce hand-tossed, crispy thin-crust pies crowned with savory tomato and white sauces. Familiar toppings of pepperoni, chicken, parmesan, and meatballs provision company pizza parties and little-league-baseball celebrations, while more exotic garnishes of broccoli raab, anchovies, and artichokes cater to refined palates and little-league-cricket celebrations. Hot subs filled with melted cheese and steak make for satisfying lunches, and feasts of baked ziti, mussels fra diavolo, and chicken marsala ensure homestyle warmth even on nights when you can’t cook.