Mara Cucina Italiana, which opened at the Mall at Wellington Green in May 2013, is the latest addition to Lirim Jacobi's restaurant group. Chef Joshua Flores curates the eatery’s menu of gourmet Italian classics, tossing pastas with housemade sauces and layering pizzas with specialty toppings. There are lighter options, too, like grilled salmon served over mixed greens with fresh lemon. Diners can sip cappuccinos or drinks from a full bar while talking or gazing at flat-screen televisions.
Roma evokes the Old Country with a menu of pizzas, hot subs, and classic Italian entrees. Mobilize appetites with the mozzarella caprese, simple stacks of freshly sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil leaves ($9.95). The ristorante earns its pizzeria title with a variety of crusty concoctions including thin and crispy Neapolitan and square-shaped Sicilian options. Pop culture-inspired specialty pies include the Sinatra, which serenades taste receptors with melodic meatballs and an ensemble of sausage, ham, pepperoni, bacon, and mozzarella ($15.95–$17.95). Doughy foundations double as edible gift wrap for stromboli ($9.95+) and calzones ($7.95+). For those in search of surf, the house specialty Gamberoni Salvatore combines jumbo shrimp with crabmeat in a light lemon wine sauce ($22.95). During lunch, join ham, salami, pepperoni, and provolone cheese for a warm and cozy sojourn inside a crusty foot-long loaf with the hot italian combo sub ($7.95), one of many sandwich options.
At Esposito's Coal Fire Pizza, an acclaimed chef makes chewy, crispy coal-fired pies by hand, crowning their creations with leaves of fresh basil, slices of mozzarella cheese, grilled eggplant, and prosciutto. Guests sink their teeth into slices of margherita or arugula-and-goat-cheese pizza—or pair glasses of wine or cocktails with pasta plates of veal marsala and chicken parmigiano. Those looking to expand their palates beyond pies may sample from a menu of filets, ribeye steaks, and Chilean sea bass.
Antonio's South Ristorante starts dinners down the culinary road to Naples with appetizers such as imported provolone and olives ($7.95). To make beef brascioli, chefs roll up a savory Southern Italian mix of sliced genoa salami, romano cheese, and white raisins in a thin slice of top round and simmer it red Neapolitan gravy ($16.95). The seafood selection dishes out entrees fluent in underwater Italian including the zuppe de clams, with whole clams in red or white sauce served over a bed or chaise lounge of linguine ($14.95). Pollo Ala Antonio conceals a trio of spinach, artichoke hearts, and fontina cheese within a chicken breast safe ($12.95). Hefty servings of ricotta-stuffed baked lasagna ($8.95) satisfy multi-layered noodle lust and the appetites of the heartiest Italian lumberjacks. Antonio's chefs bake specialty breads in-house—enhance an order of garlic bread with a dapper suit of mozzarella cheese and mushroom cufflinks ($2.50).
The expert chef at Crazy Mario's calls upon 25 years of foodsmithing experience to craft zesty Indian platters and 12 specialty pizzas from all-Halal ingredients—as well as an eclectic roundup of fried chicken, subs, and appetizers. An appetizer of sultani chili awakens palates more effectively than licking a light socket with two deep-fried peppers bearing hidden cargos of chopped chicken and tomato within their sweet shells ($5.99). The goat biryani anchors plates with a bed of rice and herbs garnished with fresh coriander leaves ($11.99), while the baingan bhartha mutes tumultuous bellies with flame-broiled eggplant and a sautéed entourage of green peas, herbs, and spices ($9.99). The tandoori-chicken delight pizza—which flaunts a medley of tandoori chicken, green peppers, onions, and oven-roasted tomato—infuses Eastern-inspired flavors in a special house sauce ($19.99 for 18"). Diners may also create their own customized pizza, piling on a choice of toppings that include meatballs, spinach, pepperoni, and pineapple ($11.99 for 18", additional $1.59/topping).