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.
"I grew up around restaurants. I came from hospitality," Angie explains, looking around at Luna's newly painted taupe and gold walls. Luna Pizza has indeed traced her family tree; Angie and her son took over the business from her brother.
In the eatery itself, marble-top tables shine in their wrought-iron bases. "West Hartford––it's an old town with a small-town character,” Angie says. “Many of our customers can walk from their homes." The impetus for that walk is the shop’s distinctive thin crust and adventurous palette of toppings, including breaded chicken, pesto, and cherry peppers, which are prepared as needed. "We won't do a batch," Angie explains. "All the veggies are roasted fresh." The sauces are also homemade, and the ingredients sourced locally when possible. The resulting pies can hold a powerful draw, Angie says. "There are many customers who have been coming to Luna Pizza for well over 20 years. They order the same pizza, the same toppings. That's loyalty, and that matters."
Brazil Grill's menu of Brazilian churrasco celebrates flame-licked meat that earned a Best of Hartford nod in 2008 by Hartford Magazine,. Priced by the pound ($6.99–$12.99), meals are built around heaping portions of meats such as lamb, chicken wrapped in bacon, and pork sausage that sizzles renditions of "The Girl From Ipanema." A meat maestro slices fresh cuts from skewers of pork loin and top sirloin to add to plates already teeming with salad, fries, and vegetable sides from the buffet. A suite of non-churrasco offerings lures tongues away, with such choices as a portuguese pizza topped with mozzarella cheese, ham, bacon, and egg ($19.75) and a ham-and-sweet-corn house pizza ($21.50).
Serving fresh and speedy pies across America for more than 50 years, Little Caesars now sates impatient appetites and sauce-starved tongue buds worldwide. Select from 13 toppings to embed like rubies in a sumptuous, made-to-order 14" original crust ($6 with one topping; $1.99 for each additional topping), or plumb the savory strata of a large cheese or pepperoni deep-dish ($7.99). Little Caesars' large Hot-N-Ready pizzas are available to drop-in patrons posthaste, eliminating stress caused by spur-of-the-moment houseguests who insist on sleeping on doughy disks ($5). Italian cheese bread ($4.29) and Caesar wings with barbecue or buffalo sauce ($10 for 16) are available for stomachs that have developed crust issues ever since they caught pizza sharing a plate with pre-dressed salad.