At Portofino Pizza & Pasta, the owner and head chef conjures a menu of classic Italian cuisine. Diners round up appetites with garlic knots ($3.99/dozen), which sidle up next to marinara for dipping or finger painting. Hefty calzones enfold a triumvirate of ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses, and hot hero sandwiches pile rolls high with stacks of meatballs or eggplant ($7.49). Pizza professionals toss specialty pies such as the Portofino pizza ($18.99), which is speckled in spinach, sun-dried tomato, and black olives in an attempt to camouflage itself from fingers, and fetuccine alfredo ($8.99) twirls itself around fork tines to sneak into mouths to ambush unsuspecting taste buds.
Nestled within the Cottonwood Plaza Shopping Center, Tonti's Pizza fashions award-winning New York–style pies within classic pizzeria digs. Cooks slather homemade East Coast tomato sauce on myriad Italian dishes, adding dollops to crowd-pleasing calzones and mozzarella sticks. Tonti's cheese has been extolled in Westword for its astonishing stretchiness, which helps pizzas hold fast even as lunching executives pull from each end to get a bigger share of the last slice.
No pizzeria was close enough to deliver pizzas to Lisa Towne’s home. So Lisa did what any pizza-loving person would do: she opened her own pizzeria. As it turns out, other locals were also missing pizza in their lives because the first day her eatery opened, it completely sold out of food by 7 p.m., even though Lisa ordered enough to last an average pizzeria or Paul Bunyon on a diet three days.
Her restaurant continued to grow in popularity due to piping hot Chicago-style pies topped with such ingredients as pesto, sea salt, fresh basil, and housemade meatballs. She also expanded Mama Lisa's Little Italy's menu to include pasta, topped with hearty sauces such as housemade alfredo, and staple breakfast items, such as buttermilk pancakes and housemade biscuits and gravy.
In addition to providing the community with a pizza joint, Lisa often donates gift certificates to her restaurant to local schools and libraries. These reward kids on the honor roll and in reading programs.
Parry's ardently flaunts its affinity with New York–style pizzerias, from the Syracuse University memorabilia festooning the walls to its rich, thin-crust pies. Catch the nail-biting season finale of Antique Roadshow on a 42" plasma while enjoying 10 golden buffalo wings ($7.49) or an order of crispy fried mozzarella sticks ($5.99). Individual eaters can sate their singularly hungry belly with a calzone loaded with a trio of cheeses ($6.99) or meats ($8.99), or tackle a sandwich such as the meatball parmesan, carefully propped between a toasted roll ($5.99). Families, competitive eaters, and disgruntled discus throwers may be drawn to the 18" specialty pies, including Parry's combo of pepperoni, sausage, bacon, mushrooms, green peppers, black olives, and red onions ($18.99), or the supremely Big Apple–inspired Lil Avery's pie with a delicate blend of herbs, spices, and parmesan cheese ($15.99). Doughy dishes can also be constructed to individual clients' demands ($11.99+) with toppings such as anchovies, fresh basil, pickles, spicy italian sausage, and more ($0.25–$1 each). A suite of sumptuous wines and frosty suds accompany the zesty eats.