Led by chef Louis Prpich, the kitchen wizards at Sugo Modern Italian Bistro conjure up lunch and dinner menus teeming with inventive takes on classic Italian cuisine. The chefs use fresh, seasonal ingredients when creating daily pasta dishes for the quick lunch ($7)—served with an italian salad, cup of soup, or stopwatch—and the hearty sandwiches ($8-9). For dinner, guests gnaw delicately on the beef carpaccio served with white truffle oil and sea salt arugula salad in a romano cannoli finished with chile and fig mostardo ($11) before debating the proper pronunciation of gnocchi in between bites of gnocchi ($16), which is handmade, tossed in a cream-and-tomato sauce, and definitely rhymes with boat. Dig into the two-course take on ossobucco ($19), beginning with roasted marrow and grilled ciabatta, and finishing with a root vegetable–stuffed veal shank and risotto milanese.
At age 14, Michael Kidd and Cristopher Malita worked side-by-side at a local pizzeria and dreamed about what they might do differently if they owned one themselves. Today, more than 10 years later, they put their ideas into practice at Pudgies Eatery. The pair builds each pizza on a handmade crust rendered more flavorful by a special blend of rosemary and spices. Their roster of specialty pies includes the Pulled Pudgie pizza with barbecue sauce, pulled pork, cheddar, and onion, as well as the chicken bacon ranch pizza with white sauce and tomatoes. Instead of pitching them into a catcher's glove, the cooks toss chicken wings into housemade sauces ranging in flavor from Mississippi mustard and garlic parmesan to hot teriyaki. The kitchen team rounds out the menu with sub sandwiches stuffed with philly steak or meatballs and soft, fresh baked cinnamon rolls.
The sumptuous aromas of cheese and rich tomato sauce fill Zeppe’s Pizzeria & Italian Bistro, where Old World Italian specialties and thin-crust pizzas line tables in the elegant dining room or on the sunny outdoor patio. The bistro menu serenades the senses with savory medleys of pastas, salads, and seafood plucked from Italy’s creamy alfredo coastlines. Chefs fling golden-baked frisbees into take-out boxes as passing caravans consult the pizzeria menu, which carries a delicious cargo of thin- and stuffed-crust pies, chicken wings, and baked subs. Sauce-soaked penne dishes and cheesy calzones exude a royalty befitting of the restaurant’s columned arches and red drapery, and a covered patio supplies the shrubbery necessary to fashion makeshift crowns of laurel.
CiCi’s Pizza combines the variety of a family-friendly buffet with the thrill of bottomless pizza. Each pie is crafted with dough made from scratch daily and then slathered with homemade marinara and showered with toppings ranging from traditional pepperoni and Italian-style sausage to creative combinations including buffalo chicken and mac 'n' cheese, resulting in more than 28 signature pizzas. The buffet is stocked with a plethora of fresh pastas, such as cavatappi noodles with classic marinara or alfredo sauce, as well as fully customizable signature salads. After they've feasted on savory options, diners can revisit the buffet for dessert including freshly baked brownies, slices of apple pizza, and cinnamon rolls drizzled with icing—or they can eat dessert first, thereby tearing an irreparable hole in the space-time continuum.
To reach their table at Spaghetti Warehouse, guests commonly have to step through two doors: the front door of the restaurant and the door of the antique trolley parked inside. Since its inception in 1972, the Italian eatery has merged the functions of kitchen and museum. Artifacts such as grandfather clocks, factory flywheels, and circus billboards surround diners as they delve into signature plates of 15-Layer Lasagna or hand-rolled meatballs. Apart from the items they've amassed, each of the buildings also has a particular history, from the one-time ice-manufacturing plant in Columbus to Memphis's Civil War munitions depot. Given their storied pasts, it's no surprise that several of these venues house their own ghosts—at Houston's warehouse, for example, elevator lights have been known to flicker, objects are mysteriously found in new locations, and a lady in a white gown is said to roam the restaurant.
Yet the main attraction of the place is the delicious food. Like any great Italian meal, made-from-scratch dishes are created from family recipes passed down for generations via email. Guests devour the perfectly al dente pasta, crispy calamari, bottomless soups, and 12-layer chocolate cakes while dining with family and friends. It’s that feeling of togetherness that people love about Spaghetti Warehouse, a feeling that is only enhanced when the drinks start flowing and the air is punctuated by the sounds of laughter as kids play retro games, such as The Claw prize-grabbing machine.
Voted one of the area's top Italian restaurants by Fox 8 City Voter 2010, this Fairlawn eatery serves a menu of warming plates in a cozy setting. Mr. G's family recipes come all the way from Palermo, Italy, circa 1912 traveling through time, space, and marinara seas to tickle Ohioan taste buds. Sink teeth into a slice of New York–style pizza ($13.99 for 18") or warm chilled tonsils with hot buffalo wings ($8.59 for 12). Herbaceous guests can heed hunger with options including savory eggplant parmesan ($11.99), carefully incubated in the oven until it hatches fully breaded from its shiny, purple shell.