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.
Gionino's Pizzeria serves up Italian and American eats ranging from pizza and pasta to fried chicken and wings. Specialty pizzas include the mediterranean, topped with spinach, feta, and roasted red peppers, and Gionino's Best, a signature pie with nine toppings, including four meats and veggies such as black olives, banana peppers, and mushrooms. Fried chicken is prepared in peanut oil, and unbreaded chicken wings are slathered in a choice of seven sauces, including hot, honey mustard, or spicy garlic.
Verso has expanded the traditional range of Italian fare to include Verso chips ($7), a deliciously seasoned stack of house-made potato chips heaped with provolone cheese, chunks of bacon, and green onion. Basic pizzas range from $6 to $16 to start, depending on size and shape (circle or sheet—sheets require 12 to 24 hours of advance notice to ensure their 800-thread-count goodness). Try a specialty option, such as a Caribbean ($18 for a large), topped with honey-lime oil, provolone, jerk chicken, mangos, caramelized onions, and cilantro. Sandwiches are available for easy gripping—bite into a chicken Philly ($7) with roasted chicken, sautéed peppers, mushrooms, onions, and cheese served on a hoagie. Pasta ranges from $9 to $11, with meaty additions running an extra $2 to $3, and comes in every imaginable shape and length, including whole-wheat penne. Wash it all down with a variety of $2 beverages, or imbibe from the beer and wine lists ($4 to $16).
Steaming marinara and melted mozzarella are the glues that most often hold down Casamel's Pizza fresh toppings, although a garlicky white sauce is also available to unite pepperoni with fresh-cut mushrooms or ham with pineapple. Beyond the outskirts of hand-tossed pizzas, thick meatball subs join plump calzones, hearty pastas, and wings slathered in zesty barbecue sauce. Patrons can grab a seat and enjoy dessert cinnamon sticks in house, or request delivery service for a convenient meal at home, the office, or on a life raft.
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.