It would be easy to pass an entire afternoon in Frank Anthony's lush garden courtyard, reclining on comfortable patio chairs and slowly polishing off a bottle of BYOB wine. Servers stroll through the forest of linen umbrellas, expertly balancing trays of Italian dishes while refilling glasses of San Pellegrino. Inside the elegant dining hall, intimate tabletops host guests, whose faces are illuminated by the glow of soft hanging lights. In the kitchen, chefs fold fresh meats, seafood, and seasonal vegetables into traditional Italian dishes, tossing crispy calamari in garlic, baking crusty Italian rolls, and crushing plum tomatoes using only their minds. Meanwhile, pizzas rise in the oven, speckled with toppings of wild mushrooms, savory sausage, and spicy peppers.
At Ah' Pizz, pizzas only leave the chefs' hands for 90 seconds during the creation process. That's how long it takes the hand-stretched, Neapolitan–style pies to bake inside the imported Italian pizza oven, which burns through enough oak wood logs to reach temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees. After 90 seconds, the thin pies emerge with a crispy, chewy crust and melted medallions of housemade mozzarella. By adhering to these rigorous, time-honored traditions, Ah' Pizz was one of four New Jersey eateries to receive a seal of approval from the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana—an international non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the historic culinary arts of Neapolitan pizza makers. Although the oven imparts a signature, smoky flavor, Ah' Pizz's chefs further distinguish their pizzas by incorporating premium ingredients whenever possible. San Marzano tomatoes, ham, and burrata cheese are imported directly from Italy, lending distinctive, Mediterranean flavors to the 13 different pies. At the same time, the chefs keep the menu's flavors close to home by making everything from caesar dressing to ricotta gnocchi in-house. Much like the menu, the restaurant's ambiance aspires to be more refined than the typical neighborhood pizzeria. Pillars and archways of exposed brickwork lend a rustic vibe to the space, although it is balanced by sleek, modern touches, such as the dark wooden tables and the floating pendant lamps that are presumably operated by remote control.
Vintage olive oil bottles stand in line against Giuseppe's brick walls, and fuchsia tablecloths add a colorful splash of elegance. In similar fashion, the menu blends the classic Italian recipes with new-world American favorites. As cheese bubbles burst on hand-tossed pizzas, their steam mingles with aromas of baked ziti, hearty subs, and juicy grilled burgers. Diners are also free to enjoy their favorite BYOB beverage, or search how to make a wireless router out of lingini on the restaurant's complimentary WiFi.
Fortissimo's kitchens produce steaming family-style platters of rich, classic Italian dishes, including pizzas, pastas and subs. Summon the satiety rains by seeding stomachs with house-made crab cakes accented by roasted peppered puree ($11.95), or channel Poseidon sans the seaweed-festooned beard with Fortissimo's salad homage, brimming with mixed baby greens, fried calamari, and balsamic vinaigrette ($8.95–$10.95). For the main event, pick a flavorful fistfight over platters of meatier munchums such as the family classic chicken parmigiana ($14.95). Alternately, savory pie lovers delight as specialty pizzas twirl about in suits of tasty toppings, such as the glitzy Las Vegas ($9.95–$18.95), topped with potato wedges, bacon, gorgonzola-cream sauce, sequins, and a live tiger show.
In the past, you couldn't sit down at Master Pizza Italian Kitchen. Its Italian sandwiches, pastas, and pies could only be ordered for delivery?and then, someone dreamed of a dining room. Now, the restaurant's West Orange location has all the fixings: tables, a specially trained chef, and imaginary massage chairs. The chef cooks gourmet Italian dishes daily that comprise the rotating "Menu Italiania." This menu complements the regular list of appetizers and entrees, including specialty pizzas modeled after bruschetta and chicken parmigiana.
For more than half a century, Starlite Restaurant & Pizza has filled bellies with specialty pizzas, fresh seafood, and hearty Italian classics. Slices of pizza in the classic thin-crust style grow even more appetizing with the addition of gourmet touches and combinations, such as shrimp and arugula, tomatoes and basil, savory pesto, and vodka sauce. The menu's impressive seafood section features dishes as varied as shrimp scampi with roasted garlic, mussels marinara over linguine, and broiled salmon.