Like its name, Wagon Wheel Restaurant’s menu and interior pay homage to simpler times. Tiffany-style stained-glass lamps cast a golden glow over hearty cuts of filet mignon, stuffed chicken breasts, baby back ribs, and the other unimpeachably traditional American eats that fill out the comforting, honest menu. As they dine, guests can relax, allowing their eyes to wander over the deep oxblood walls hung here and there with photographs and paintings of pure natural landscapes, wagering with their tablemates whether the images are real places or pictures fished out of Bob Ross’s dream catcher. Across from the dining area, distressed wooden posts and dangling metal steins highlight the spacious, u-shaped bar. Occasionally, Wagon Wheel plays host to local bands that perform classic rock or the kind of simple folk tunes that require at least one band member to bang a washboard against a drum.
Pizzas at Big E's Pizza & Wings come in one size: a hefty 18 inches. Cooks pile each slice with medleys of vegetables and sausage, or inventive ingredients such as baked ziti and eggplant parmesan. They prepare the All American Pie by topping it with bacon, french fries, chopped hamburger, American cheese, and onion rings, as well as by keeping one hand over their hearts and a single tear in their eyes. They also whip up non-pizza-related items, including eggplant parmesan, italian subs, cheeseburgers, and wings drenched in one of six sauces.
They maintain a BYOB policy, allowing patrons to pair the drinks of their choices with their meals, and kitchen staffers keep their ovens burning until 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday night.
For more than 40 years, the LaMorte family has regaled diners with mouthwatering Italian meals that spotlight richly sauced pastas, juicy steaks, and ocean-fresh seafood. The fully handicap-accessible space charms visitors with its art-peppered walls, coral accents, and varnished wood. The sun-drenched patio showcases a dark wood bar and a wood-fired brick pizza oven. The restaurant's catering services banquets of up to 500 guests or two narwhals with family-style Italian fare and hot or cold buffets.
In 1909, Frank Pepe immigrated to the United States from his native town of Maiori, Italy. He was poor, illiterate, and just 16 years old—but he had a strong work ethic. After a stint in a New Haven factory and service as an Italian solider in World War I, he settled down for good in New Haven with his wife, Filomena, and started a bakery delivery service. But because he couldn’t read, he had trouble deciphering the orders. So he started having his customers come to him, and in 1925, he and Filomena added a simple item to the menu: Neapolitan-style pizzas.
To this day, the staff still heats up coal-fired ovens to bake the original tomato pies that Frank and Filomena first made famous. They can also add toppings such as bacon, Italian-imported anchovies, and house-roasted red peppers to their pizzas, or create specialty pies such as their signature white clam with olive oil, fresh garlic, and oregano. Diners can pair their pies with Pepe’s salad, tossed in balsamic vinaigrette, or have the server tap draft brews such as Sam Adams Boston Lager and Peroni. They’ve served Foxon Park soda since 1925, so diners can request bottles of cream soda or diet white-birch beer made from only the sveltest birch trees.
A restaurant is only as good as its head chef. Luckily, Tombolino has Pietro Siciliano. Recognized in 2010 by Bon Appétit as top chef in Westchester, Siciliano prepares scratch-made pastas and other Italian-style delicacies daily using imported ingredients and kitchen mastery learned during his training at the Culinary Institute in Italy. A selection of more than 500 wines pair well with Siciliano’s creations, which include house specialties such as almond-crusted chilean sea bass and veal milanese.
DeCosta's attentive owners, brothers Pedro and Nuno, trade off strolling through the dining room to connect with patrons dining on upscale Italian dishes. To craft an authentic menu of lunch and dinner selections, chefs whip up pastas from scratch and procure fresh fish via regular trips to the New Fulton Fish Market and a wholesale account with entrepreneurial merfolk. Thin angel-hair pasta forms a halo around forks as tines pierce aquatic bits in the capellini crabmeat and shrimp ($18 for lunch; $22 for dinner), and the chicken parmigiana's poultry cutlets sizzle in pans before slipping into a luxurious bath of mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce ($16 for dinner). A 16-ounce steak is doused in a port-wine reduction and mushrooms to form the rib eye portobello ($33 for dinner), and the salmon Capri introduces a grilled fillet of salmon to a salad trio of arugula, endive, and radicchio drizzled in a light vinaigrette ($19 for lunch; $24 for dinner).