Natives of Palermo, Italy, brothers Vincenzo and Agostino Gabriele share twin passions for food and their Italian heritage. Both loves are combined under the same roof at Vincenzo's Italian Restaurant—by the owners' count, a winner of more than 20 separate culinary awards. Chef Agostino Gabriele began his culinary career at age 14 back in Palermo before moving on to kitchens in Milan, Dusseldorf, and St. Louis, commonly known as "The Dusseldorf of the Midwest." Gabriele's internationally honed cooking skills helped him become a James Beard–honored chef and win a DiRoNA award with his brother for Vincenzo's in 2007 and 2008.
Inside the kitchen, Chef Gabriele tops plates of al dente spaghetti with South African lobster tail and petite shrimp and roasts farm-raised chicken breast with asparagus tips, sun-dried tomatoes, and gorgonzola cheese. The eatery, which also offers an extensive wine list and soufflé desserts, has been visited by a number of celebs, including Muhammad Ali, Steven Spielberg, and Sylvester Stallone.
Throughout history, some have used flags to stake their claim on a corner of the world. Others have drawn lines on maps. But it’s pizza that firmly marks the territory of Kenna’s Korner, where cooks hand toss their dough before colonizing it with dozens of fresh toppings. Served with ranch dressing on the side, the Kenna’s Special combines buffalo-wing meat with bacon, mushrooms, jalapeños, and onions, slathering the assortment in special sauce and two kinds of cheeses. Kenna’s rounds out its menu with salads and a selection of sub sandwiches, each nestled within an 8-inch hoagie roll and filled with everything from double hamburger patties to beef and sausage swimming in pizza sauce.
The pizza-slingers at Papa John’s build their pies with fresh-dough crusts composed of high-protein flour and filtered water that are hand tossed, then baked to a golden brown. Every pizza comes covered with with vine-ripened tomato sauce and 100% mozzarella cheese, and can be strewn with a cornucopia of toppings, from locally sourced green peppers and onions to beef, ham and spicy Italian sausage. The Hawaiian-barbecue-chicken pie hoards all bacon, onions, grilled chicken, and pineapple within a five-mile radius, and the pepperoni-and-sausage-topped John’s Favorite is the only pie to never have sat in the kitchen’s time-out chair. Chefs dust parmesan cheese and garlic on fluffy breadsticks, and lather wings in honey-chipotle, spicy, or traditional barbecue sauce. The Cinnapie dessert seals meals with a gathering of apple, cinnamon, and icing sweeter than a kitten in sugar-coated pajamas. Enter your zip code into the online menu to see a full list of prices for pies baking in your area.
The Jet's Pizza man bursts through a cloud in his trusty jet pack. Clad in green tights and a red Jet's Pizza shirt, his black mustache bristling in the breeze, he stretches out a hand holding a single pizza pie––steaming, gooey, and inexplicably aerodynamic. This whimsical mascot, who appears on many of Jet’s signs and flyers, emphasizes the founders’ philosophy that “pizza should be fun,” as well as their simple motto: "Life is short. Eat better pizza!"
In 1978, the first Jet's Pizza opened its doors in Sterling Heights, Michigan, under the dough-coaxing of Eugene Jett and his brother, John. Fueled by the popularity of Jet's signature deep-dish square pizza and a later thin-crust addition, the franchise has grown to more than 200 stores, each operating under strict preparation criteria to ensure consistency. Jet's can "flavorize" any crust eight ways with ingredients such as poppy seeds and Cajun seasoning. After dipping boneless or regular wings in a sidekick of sauce, diners can two-hand a calzone-inspired Boat or employ an actual boat to float to Italy and stick out their tongues at the competition.