Papacelle Ristorante, a Zagat-rated establishment, boasts a menu bursting with house-made breads and pastas crafted from a bevy of locally sourced ingredients. Take flight with fresh antipasti such as prosciutto spek or house-made ricotta ($3.50 each; choose five for $16). A hearty twist on tradition, the beef tenderloin crêpes are filled generously with fresh seasonal veggies under a creamy gorgonzola sauce ($11). Handmade cavatelli pasta with olive-oil-braised rabbit, carrots, and broccoli provides a hearty dose of autumnal sustenance ($21). The free-roaming, grass-fed veal chop is forkibly tender ($32), just like the other protein-rich dishes at Papacelle, which are all made with hormone- and antibiotic-free meat that includes cage-free poultry and grass-fed beef.
Plainville Restaurant & Pizza has been stacking sandwiches, baking specialty pastas, and slathering sauce and toppings across tasty thin crust pies for 25 years. Diners can mouth-mash appetizers such as fried cheese ravioli ($8.75) before sinking incisors into more substantial fare from the expansive menu. Specialty pies include the extra-large spinach and ricotta pizza ($17.50), which sates adventurous taste buds wandering across a mozzarella field strewn with sausage and olive boulders. Verdure votaries can dive mouth-first into the vegetarian pizza awash with broccoli, mushrooms, and eggplant ($17.50). Specialty and baked pastas include fresh veal parmigiana ($13.95) and stuffed manicotti ($9.95), with the latter guarding gooey cheese from prey inside tantalizing tubular noodles. Sandwich-seekers can lure wandering coyotes with more than 20 grinders ($4.50–$9) or bun-splitting chicken sandwiches such as the crispy chicken with bacon and cheese under a blanket of ranch dressing ($8).
Pumpkin-orange walls radiate cozy, autumnal vibes at Fiore’s IV Italian Restaurant as servers deliver warm bowls of mussels and comforting slices of lasagna. As crisp as a freshly ironed lettuce leaf, white linens lend tables an air of elegance, which extends to signature dishes such as lobster ravioli with sun-dried tomatoes and pink vodka sauce. Salads and house-baked rolls accompany each entree, accenting chicken, veal, and sole with verdant hues and crunchy textures.
Confetti applies the compounded knowledge and one-of-a-kind recipes of three generations of Mediterranean chefs to craft its Italian-inspired menu of fresh seafood and handmade pastas. The Zagat-rated eatery galvanizes gun-shy appetites with starters such as sauteéd Prince Edward Island mussels bathed in garlic, oil, and fra diavolo ($9). The kitchen roasts its twin Grecian lamb shanks ($22) until they house more stores of tenderness than the feelings of an artistically inclined kitten. Meanwhile, fresh scialatielli with clam sauce arrives sporting shucked clams, minced mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and aromatic basil ($15). Minimalist-minded diners can keep dinner simple with a single grain of salt or a light greek salad adorned with vine-ripened tomatoes, cured olives, imported Greek feta, and extra-virgin olive oil ($10; $5 with an entree).
Forged in oven fires from dough mixed fresh each day, Naples’ menu of thin-crust Neapolitan pizzas are one-ring flavor circuses where traditional ingredients cavort and tumble alongside artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, clams, and eggplant. DIY disk-diners can order their pies in three sizes ($11.65–$14.75), then sprinkle the surface with pepperoni, sausage, pineapple, and more ($1.25–$2/topping). Otherwise, choose from one of Naples’ specialty pizzas, such as the Shrimp pizza with capers and red onions ($15.75–$19.75) or a barbecued-chicken pie ($14.55–$19.15).
Since opening in 1931, Bacco's Restaurant has become a local destination for pizza and Italian cuisine. The menu offers diners a variety of pizzas, char-grilled steaks, and specialties, such as veal saltimbocca rolled with prosciutto. Nearly everything is made in house, from warm loaves of bread to the sumptuous sauces that dress signature pasta dishes. The restaurant's comfortable interior was recently remodeled, and now features a roomy bar where servers pour cold drinks.
Owner Randy Price curates a creative menu of New Haven–style "apizza" in more than 30 styles. His team crafts fresh dough daily using unbleached flour, creates sauce from handpicked italian and chilean tomatoes, and sprinkles pies with cheese from home-schooled cows. The famous Challenger—a 22-inch pizza stuffed with a mélange of vegetables and meats that weigh in at nearly 10 pounds—presents the hungriest visitors with a challenge to conquer the hot wheel in an hour or less, a feat that has earned a place on the Travel Channel's Man Vs. Food roster of surmounted food battles.