The kitchens at Johnny G's produce a wealth of homestyle Italian cooking, including stuffed crust pizzas and pies laden with toppings such as meatballs or sundried tomatoes. As diners dig into chicken parmigiana or a hot sub, they can sip on an alcoholic beverage carried from home or the fermented apples they store in a back pocket. In addition, catered pasta can feed ravenous partygoers during birthdays, baptisms, and séances.
Lavallette Trattoria seems to fill with the sun of the Italian countryside. The warm hues of fresh tomatoes spill from a wide and colorful mural in the dining room. Through painted stone arches, it depicts an idyllic village, an ideal backdrop for the chefs' spin on Italian pastas, pizzas, and other dishes. Amid flowers, wine bottles, and hanging baskets, patrons twirl pastas in vodka or meat sauce, crunching through stalks of broccoli rabe or chewing tender morsels of chicken. Filets of veal are cooked in different styles. To make them francese style, chefs egg batter the filet and add lemon and white wine sauce. To craft bolder marsala, they reduce red wine with mushrooms. Thin New York-style pizza crusts slip from the oven, strewn with fresh mozzarella, basil, tomatoes, and roasted peppers like the National Museum of Italian Food and Catapults.
Luna Derosa's chefs draw inspiration from a variety of cultures, but their emphasis remains on approachable comfort cuisine with a refined edge. Although the menu features numerous Italian staples—including iconic Sunday gravy with braised meatballs, sausage, and beef braciola in tomato sauce—it also incorporates a variety of Asian and American influences. Chefs add a piquant dose of trans-Atlantic flavor with spicy Thai chili sauces and sriracha-spiked sour cream. They also sear porterhouse steaks, new york strips, and filet mignon on the kitchen's flat-iron grill. The bartenders, meanwhile, mix innovative cocktails using sage, muddled jalapeños, or flavored vodkas, which they infuse in-house. Illuminated columns dominate the split-level dining room, helping to gently light the space along with modern track lighting, chandeliers, and elegant wall sconces. The restaurant opens its outdoor patio during the warmer seasons so that diners can enjoy their meal beneath the stars, beside a smoldering fireplace, or in plain view of any attractive hot-air-balloon captains passing overhead.
Whether swirling sauce across a hand-tossed pie or assembling hot subs, the staff of Pyro Pizza take care to use fresh ingredients. Mixing, rolling, and tossing dough fresh daily, they scatter pizzas with mozzarella, sauces such as tomato and pesto, and toppings arranged into hilarious equations. The kitchen also preps giant salads, saucy pastas, and golden-brown calzones.
While the heart of Johnny Carino's menu is rooted in genuine Italian traditions, forward-thinking creativity has birthed what they like to call their signature dishes. Led by executive chef Chris Peitersen, the seasoned kitchen staff blends fresh ingredients along with extra time to create high-quality preparations. Diners will find entrees such as 16-layer lasagna with made-from-scratch sauce, and pizzas made with home-baked crust. Other signature choices include the all-natural beef tuscan ribeye, baked stuffed mushrooms topped with house lemon basil cream sauce, and tiramisu made from the ground up. Entrees can be paired any selection from Carino's extensive wine list and drink menu.
In 2009, Raffaella Pagano and her son, Anthony, decided they wanted to start a new era of fine dining in Bradley Beach. Having already owned and operated a family restaurant on Ocean Avenue, the Pagano family saw their new enterprise as a way to carry on a legacy that had begun decades earlier. Today, their family torch burns brightly from within Pagano's Uva Restaurant & Wine Bar, where chefs craft innovative Mediterranean and Italian dishes using seasonal produce, seafood, and authentic oils and cheeses. Diners dive into those dishes while soaking in the ambiance of two distinct areas, including a cozy bar and lounge framed by dark woods.