Voted one of the area's top Italian restaurants by Fox 8 City Voter 2010, this Fairlawn eatery serves a menu of warming plates in a cozy setting. Mr. G's family recipes come all the way from Palermo, Italy, circa 1912 traveling through time, space, and marinara seas to tickle Ohioan taste buds. Sink teeth into a slice of New York–style pizza ($13.99 for 18") or warm chilled tonsils with hot buffalo wings ($8.59 for 12). Herbaceous guests can heed hunger with options including savory eggplant parmesan ($11.99), carefully incubated in the oven until it hatches fully breaded from its shiny, purple shell.
Formerly known as Casa Mimi, Casa Perfetto has served up family-style Italian cuisine since 1967, when Frances and Antimo "Mimi" Perfetto opened the restaurant with brother and chef Giuseppe Perfetto. Originally determined to become the first pizzeria shaped like a Jetsons house, Casa Perfetto has trained its focus on Italian comfort food that sings gentle ninna nannas before tucking diners into sheets of warm lasagna. The menu reads almost like a family album, with photos of relatives adjacent to their favorite dishes, like the pasta Caruso, a heaping dish of chicken livers, mushrooms, and marinara sauce over cappellini ($14.95). Fluffy pillows of handmade gnocchi come tossed in carbonara, sprinkled with mozzarella and flanked by tender meatballs ($14.95). Fresh chops and seafood can be had for $14.95–$29.95. Picky eaters will appreciate pasta alla vostro gusto (pasta to your taste, starting at $9.95), which lets them combine cappellini, linguine, or rigatoni with their choice of sauce, vegetable, and meat options to build the ideal pasta mate.
Founded in the 1950s as a single carry-out shop, Your Pizza Shop quickly expanded into a multi-state franchise, with locations popping up like pepperoni toppings all over Ohio and Florida. Today, stores range from carryout-and-delivery joints to full-service restaurants with buffets, booze, and sports entertainment. After noshing on a piece of pressure-fried chicken, guests can two-hand a hot sub, or scrawl a love letter to their stromboli in marinara sauce.
To reach their table at Spaghetti Warehouse, guests commonly have to step through two doors: the front door of the restaurant and the door of the antique trolley parked inside. Since its inception in 1972, the Italian eatery has merged the functions of kitchen and museum. Artifacts such as grandfather clocks, factory flywheels, and circus billboards surround diners as they delve into signature plates of 15-Layer Lasagna or hand-rolled meatballs. Apart from the items they've amassed, each of the buildings also has a particular history, from the one-time ice-manufacturing plant in Columbus to Memphis's Civil War munitions depot. Given their storied pasts, it's no surprise that several of these venues house their own ghosts—at Houston's warehouse, for example, elevator lights have been known to flicker, objects are mysteriously found in new locations, and a lady in a white gown is said to roam the restaurant.
Yet the main attraction of the place is the delicious food. Like any great Italian meal, made-from-scratch dishes are created from family recipes passed down for generations via email. Guests devour the perfectly al dente pasta, crispy calamari, bottomless soups, and 12-layer chocolate cakes while dining with family and friends. It’s that feeling of togetherness that people love about Spaghetti Warehouse, a feeling that is only enhanced when the drinks start flowing and the air is punctuated by the sounds of laughter as kids play retro games, such as The Claw prize-grabbing machine.
Fat Billy's pizza-crafting professionals sate hungry hoards with an extensive menu of saucy spheres, meaty entrees, and dough-swaddled sandwiches. Muffle the moans of stomach-dwelling teenaged turtles with a starter of breaded mushrooms ($2.99) before tongue diving into a cheese pizza ($5.99 small, $11.99 extra large)—customizable with an array of toppings ($.99–$2.99 each)—or one of the many specialty pies ($9.99 small, $15.99 extra large), such as the philly cheesesteak or the barbecue-soused baja chicken.