In the 40 years since the first Hungry Howie's opened, the restaurants' chefs haven't just focused on getting new and inventive toppings. Instead, they have also innovated the their pizzas in other ways, such as creating their eight signature flavors of crust. Crust options include sesame, garlic and herbs, Cajun seasons, or even onion, adding a subtle flavor to custom pizzas. Guests can choose which crust would go best with their mix of the house's 15 toppings, which include options such as bacon, feta cheese, anchovies, and pineapple. In addition to pizzas, chefs also create oven-baked subs and fresh salads to create full Italian meals.
Italian landscape murals adorn the walls at Riccardo’s, where chefs craft authentic Italian dishes and Italian-inspired cuisine. Their signature gnocchi à la Riccardo tosses gnocchi pasta with shrimp and chicken sautéed with pancetta and sun-dried tomatoes in a garlic chardonnay sauce. Italian flavors also extend to housemade pizza pies that come with a choice of more than 15 toppings, as well as classic philly cheesesteaks. Riccardo’s also specializes in diner-style breakfasts that feature items such as an Italian omelet with fresh mozzarella, tomato, ham, and a dash of tomato sauce.
Mario Suffi has been in the restaurant industry for more than two decades. That know-how comes in handy at his latest eatery, Mario's Pizza, which is located in a space that has housed Snappy Tomato Pizza and a brontosaurus's bed long before that. In addition to giving the locale a face-lift, Suffi and his kitchen staff have expanded the menu beyond pizza. Case in point: they serve ribs.
The brick-lined boutique storefront does not deceive those who pass by Hello Gorgeous Salon: the inside, which boasts red walls covered in inspirational quotes and couches dotted with throw pillows, is just as cozy. These warm confines have been stylist and color expert Shelly Thompson’s workplace for eight years. Her 15 years of experience behind the shears informs her every move as she cuts, dyes, and straightens hair with ultramodern Brazilian-blowout treatments. She garners most of her career fulfillment from making women more confident and helping scissors find employment.
Cushioned booths line Pronto Pizza's lengthy, maroon-painted interior, and intricate, gilded molds crown its ceiling, making it resemble an upscale urban culinary destination more than a garden-variety pizza joint. Chefs send rounds of pizza dough into a mammoth oven to bake specialties such as Maria's Pie—layered with eggplant, ricotta, and mozzarella—or baked ziti pizza. The kitchen team also covers plates with chicken marsala, or pasta jambalaya. Live entertainment keeps the venue’s energy level cranked up, and coffee prevents that energy level from going back down.
PizzaVito’s founder, Vito DiBartolo, has been baking no-nonsense New York–style pies for more than 40 years. From his first pizzeria in Queens to his expansive chain in the South, Vito’s been slipping a slice of family zest inside every made-to-order creation. Slices come in one size (giant) and range in composition from simple cheese to more complex and meatier varieties. The Bronx Bomber ($14.95/large) sends mozzarella, pepperoni, ham, and bacon flying onto a soft spread of the Vito family’s century-old red-sauce recipe. Other classic New York–style eats include melty and crispy calzones ($5.75) and spicy buffalo wings ($7.95 for 10).