The Rocco boys' love for pizza started in the Bronx, where they worked at their father’s pizzerias from a young age. Now, brothers Joe, Mike, and Frank are continuing their family's tradition at 10 locations of their own invention—all flaunting the Planet Pizza name tag.
A man can't build such a pizza universe without some serious pies. But inspiration isn't a problem for the Planet Pizza culinary team, who've molded more than 30 toppings into about 25 specialty circles, all available on gluten-free and whole-wheat crusts. In addition to specialty pizzas, the cooks concoct other menu choices such the compo salad with baby field greens, grape tomatoes, candied walnuts, gorgonzola, and dried cranberries or the buffalo chicken wrap loaded with strips of crispy chicken, lettuce, tomato, spicy wing sauce, and chunky blue cheese dressing are more convincing than Pluto as a mature planet.
Chefs top Luca Bella’s namesake pizza with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, peppers, meatballs, and mozzarella. This meaty concoction is one of nearly 20 specialty pizzas, thin crust or brick-oven baked, that they whip up on a daily basis. They also assemble more than 60 classic Italian entrees including baked ziti with homemade tomato sauce, chicken parmigiana, and shrimp scampi. For customers on the go, they even stuff meatballs or breaded eggplant into hero sandwiches.
The namesake chefs at Cerbone of Naples Pizza enlist family recipes that originated in Italy in the early 1900s to construct gourmet pizzas and traditional entrees. An arsenal of upscale pizzas unfurls on the eatery's lengthy menu, which touts the arugula salad pie, a union of avocado and kalamata olives swimming through balsamic vinegar, and the chicken scarpariello pizza, a base of marsala wine sauce splashing on sun-dried tomatoes and cherry peppers.
Sal's soothes grumbling hunger tubs with its eclectic entourage of edibles, including pizza, specialty pies, calzones, seafood, and other Italian favorites. Anchor incisors on the buffalo-chicken pizza's mozzarella shores ($16/small, $18/large), or tune taste knobs to the egg-battered frequencies of the eggplant parmigiana, which dons a jaunty dressing of mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce ($13.50). Patrons of the noodled arts can commission a meal from Sal's pasta offerings, and garden grubbers can slip into some serious leafage with a bevy of salad selections.