Salvatore Fontana opened Fontana's Pizza in 1972 in West Babylon. Years later, his son Joseph took the reins by overhauling the menu and reopening the business in its current Long Island location, all while retaining his father’s integrity and work ethic. The latest menu includes square, Sicilian-style pizzas and regular round pizzas crowned with unusual toppings, from buffalo chicken and baked ziti to fried chicken and shrimp. To further set themselves apart from other pizzerias, the Fontanas also carry seafood items such as baked clams and mussels. But their biggest distinction is a personal endorsement from chef-turned-actor Joe Gannascoli, famous for his portrayal of doomed mobster Vito Spatafore on The Sopranos. All menu items are available for dine-in, carry-out, and special events, whether it’s a family get-together or a birthday party for one of the Ninja Turtles.
The cooks at Frankie's Eastside Pizza prepare all pies and pastas fresh daily, which is no small feat when you consider the massiveness of their menu. It includes more than 45 specialty pizzas alone, loaded with eclectic toppings that run the gamut from eggplant rollatini to sweet barbecue rum chicken. The culinary team even crafts pies with gluten-free crusts or in the classic Brooklyn style, where each slice is shaped like the letter B.
The rest of Frankie's menu encompasses plenty of Italian classics, from generous portions of chicken scampi to hearty servings of housemade lasagna. For more American appetites, cooks toss fries in Cajun seasoning, pile roast beef into heroes, and fill wraps with ingredients like honey maple turkey.
The chefs at Bellissimo Ristorante Italiano craft traditional Tuscan and Sicilian dishes as well as their own idiosyncratic takes on classic Italian recipes. While digging into a half chicken breast in sage butter sauce, diners can admire the eatery’s wrought-iron chandeliers and walls painted to resemble an Italian villa. Tromp l’oeil arched pillars frame murals of pastoral Tuscan landscapes, depicting mountains, vineyards, and groups of tourists asking for directions.
A display case of oven-fresh pizzas and savory side dishes greets diners when they approach the counter at Vincent's Pizzeria. The cooks bake dough in all shapes and sizes, selling slices or entire pies of Neapolitan, Sicilian-style, and deep-dish pizzas. Each cheesy canvas emerges from the oven with a layer of toppings from a selection of 12 meats and vegetables, which includes garlic, bacon, and spinach. Pizza eaters also have the option of customizing their pie-crusts with sesame, garlic, onion, poppy seeds, and salt, known as "The Edge." To lend a rustic touch to the pasta entrees, the cooks roll meatballs and simmer housemade tomato sauce over smoldering copies of Little House on the Prairie. Although the restaurant only holds a handful of tables in its dining area, it can also serve its customers by delivering orders to homes and catering special events.
Begin your trip down the meatball-lined sidewalks of Ciao Baby with a look at the menu of classic Italian eats. For antipasti, roll a homemade Sicilian rice ball filled with ground meat, peas, and plum-tomato sauce ($14.95) into your jaws. Lunch light with a member of the Wrap Pack, such as the Salsiccia Sammy (Italian sausage, tri-color peppers, and Vidalia onions sautéed in white wine and topped with mozzarella, $10.95), or lend some evening gravitas to your appetite with a dignified order for Nonna's Old World Meat Platter (freshly made meatballs, hot or sweet sausage, and San Marzano tomato sauce atop macaroni; half $23.95, whole $33.95).
The menu at Frank's Pizza & Restaurant is divided into stripes of red, white, and green, emulating the Italian flag while collecting dishes from across the country. Chicken marsala arrives as an entree with a dinner salad or tops a thin-crust pizza, tossed from traditional, whole-wheat, or gluten-free dough. The kitchen also presses broccoli rabe paninis, tosses linguine with fried calamari, and nods to American cuisine with chicken fingers and a collection of domestic beers.
A silver globe-shaped weathervane, reminiscent of the classic RKO Radio logo, crowns the Carlyle At The Palace's art-deco façade, where geometric shapes and pops of color hint at the glamour within. Through a lobby styled in honor of the Chrysler building, Deco 1600's dining room continues the old-fashioned elegance with votive candles and a wall of beveled mirrors.
In the kitchen, chefs captained by restaurateur Steve Carl craft panini and pizza lunches, then simmer short ribs in chianti, slather racks of lamb with minted pesto, and slow-cook risottos of the day for dinner. Wines imported from Italy, Argentina, and France complement meals, as well as doff their corks in Deco 1600's sleek upstairs event space, where white-leather banquettes, chandeliers, and foiled wallpaper set a chic scene.