In 1963, Sal Barbiere founded his eponymous Italian Inn on the principles of ?Family, Superb Food, and Quality Ingredients,? according to the restaurant's website. So it was no surprise that he decided to keep the eatery in the family, passing Barbiere's to his son Steve when he retired. And when, 34 years later, Steve was ready to retire in his turn, he also passed the mantle to someone trustworthy: employee Mark Dempsey, who is himself nearly family?he has been working at the restaurant since he was 16 years old.
Today, Dempsey has expanded the restaurant to two locations, both still serving Sal's signature garlic bread and other tried-and-true Italian dishes. Chefs in his kitchens prepare pans of lasagna and spaghetti with meat or meatless sauce. Baked-to-order pizzas feature an array of topping choices including italian sausage, fresh mushrooms, and sliced tomatoes. Grand Marnier from the full bar fortifies pitchers of housemade red sangria, which enhance the food's bold, Italian flavors.
The “pleasingly puffy” crust and “inventive flavor combinations” the chef creates for Transfer Pizzeria Café's inventive pizzas earned the establishment a feature on Serious Eats. Today, they craft more than 40 different kinds of pizzas with different combinations of about 30 toppings, all laid atop house-crafted sauces: tomato, garlic, pesto, barbecue, and peanut. Made with local and organic ingredients when possible, the pizzas range from traditional to inventive, with combinations more compelling than that of Al Capone’s safe. The pollo verde features chicken with pesto and tomato sauce, feta, and asiago cheese, and the Diavola is topped with hot peppers and salami. Transfer Pizzeria Café's crew strives to give back to the community by featuring local art and live music, and it contributes its vegetable and fruit scraps, used coffee grounds, and discarded paper airplanes to an area compost network.
Brick 3 Pizza’s chefs make their pies so easily accessible, it’s a wonder the city’s residents are eating anything else. While most pizza places are content to deliver their pies to doorsteps, Brick 3 Pizza offers eat-in, delivery, catering, and curbside service for clients craving their menu of specialty New York-style pizzas. The shop’s doors even stay open until 4 a.m. on weekends, allowing barhoppers to finish their night with a slice of mac ‘n’ cheese, mostaccioli-and-meatballs, or pesto-chicken pizza. Brick’s gigantic 34-inch extra-large pizza is a meal boon for guests with a lot of mouths to feed or as bait to catch Sylvester Stallone. Alongside their pizzas, the staff creates handheld calzones and traditional desserts such as cannoli and cheesecake.
Joey Buona?s Pizzeria & Restaurant's motto implores diners to laugh, love, and eat "with a vengeance," whether they're chowing down on a gourmet sandwich made with rustic italian bread, or sharing a multi-course family feast of pasta and steaks with loved ones. The restaurant also hosts "all you can eat" family-style appetizers, salads, pastas, entrees, and desserts on big platters. Chandeliers cast a warm glow over crimson carpets and brick walls while guests bite into slices of thin-crust style cooked pies, then debate which came first, the city or the pizza. The downtown restaurant's catering packages and banquets ring in weddings, anniversaries, and corporate events with hot and cold smorgasbords of sandwiches, sausage ravioli, chicken marsala, and tiramisu.
Dough leaps from chefs' hands and pirouettes in midair before donning Rustico Pizzeria's slew of fresh toppings such as pine nuts, goat cheese, and eggplant, with gluten-free pizza and pasta available upon request. The menu includes 10 types of sandwiches, some of which are made crispy atop a sizzling grill, and pastas arrive at tables draped in slow-stewed tomato sauce and white-wine b?chamel. A rustic dining room is decked with brick walls, hardwood floors, and sturdy chandeliers. Outside, a wooden patio affords pristine views of the Milwaukee River, and an ideal station from which to christen passing ships with bottles from the Italian wine list.
Crisp Pizza Bar & Lounge’s super-heated Neapolitan-style oven bakes crunchy cracker-like crusts topped with chef-curated ingredient bouquets or build-your-own-pizza creations. The restaurant also transforms into a morning-meal factory for Friday–Sunday brunches, flipping expectations on the heads with funky adaptations of morning classics, such as the breakfast pizza topped with scrambled eggs and a pepperoni-wrapped alarm clock. By night, the eatery doubles as a music venue, with a rotating schedule of DJs setting hips asway with high-octane playlists.