Early every morning, the chefs of Joey’s Restaurant peruse Cleveland’s markets for the freshest vegetables and meats to incorporate into marinara-oozing lasagna, sherry-sautéed scampi, or Sicilian-style pizza. Chefs adhere to authentic family recipes that have been in use for more than 30 years, starting with fresh batches of homemade noodles that soak in sauces such as marinara, alfredo, or garlic butter. Servers set down dishes on red-checkered tables, organizing the plates family-style so each guest can sample and share dishes without having to compete for bites in a fierce game of musical chairs, and the exposed brick in the dining room adds a romantic air to a night on the town.
Danny Boy's is a neighborhood, Rat Pack–themed Italian foodery with walls covered in records and photos of Frank Sinatra. Start a meal with garlic bread with cheese ($6.99) while perusing a classic Italian menu, which features salads, woogie melts, Rat Pack pizza starters, and more. The Hammy Davis Jr. stuffs sliced ham, ricotta, feta, fresh basil, tomatoes, house Italian dressing, cheddar, and crumbled bleu cheese into a baked doughy monument ($7.99). Frank's appetizer pizza pie is wall-to-wall EVOO, pepperoni, cheese, black olives, tomatoes, ricotta, and Italian spices ($8.99), and a plain cheese pizza ($9.99/six piece) can be customized with toppings, such as mushrooms, pineapple, and Canadian bacon. Uptown toppings, such as meatballs, artichoke hearts, and grilled shrimp ($1.50–$7.50) turn any standard disc into a visually stimulating feast.
Eddie's Pizzeria Cerino serves fresh Italian dishes crafted with the fusion of family recipes and modern culinary experience. Owner Eddie Cerino's passion for food began in his grandmother's kitchen, where he would watch her prepare meals for friends and family. He took in the aromas and witnessed how, like receiving a paycheck delivered by puppies, her dishes would brighten guests' spirits. When forging his pizzeria's menu, Eddie combined his family's cherished recipes with techniques and flavors he discovered over the course of his career. Today, guests indulge their cravings with entrees prepared under the direction of a Cerino family member, such as gourmet pizzas topped with wild mushrooms and sausage and butternut-squash ravioli in a butter-sage sauce.
Named Best Gourmet Pizza in 2010 by Cleveland Magazine, Angelo's Pizza's experienced dough-flingers conjure pies with freshly made sauce and crust alongside other Italian eats. Pizza incarnations range from the basic original with choice of toppings ($8.19+) to pies of a more radical aesthetic, such as the chicken mac 'n' cheese ($12.95–$22.25) and Acapulco barbecue chicken with pineapple and cinnamon ($12.95–$22.25). Pasta seekers can revel in spaghetti, cavatelli, penne, or fettuccini with veggie or meat toppings ($6.99–$12.29), ideal for satisfying midmeal urges to jump rope. The drink menu boasts local brews such as Great Lakes Dortmunder, as well as whites, reds, and soft drinks. Committed to customer service, Angelo's insists that patrons not 100% pleased with their eats get a replacement dish or a credit for their next visit.
At Gillespie's Map Room, a glistening row of taps pours forth mouthwatering glassfuls of tasty suds while ovens roast cheesy discuses of thin-crust pizza to crispy perfection. Nestled in the Warehouse District, a stone's throw away from Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field, Gillespie's Map Room relishes in its location at the heart of Cleveland's bustling nightlife neighborhood, as well as the adrenaline gland of the city's boisterous sports center. A no-frills row-house façade decked in humming neon shamrocks and wood-lined glass panels exudes a heartwarming turn-of-the-century charm. Inside, an interior of rough brick walls, live acoustic music, and a roaring fireplace frames relaxing post-shift beers and hearty meals of chili-topped hot dogs or pollock-fillet fish 'n' chips with welcoming hominess.