The culinary wizards at Cristelle’s Restaurant use homemade recipes to conjure up entrees from scratch for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Middle Eastern menus. Fuel up for long days of repurposing cubicles into pentacles with morning eats such as the hearty Irish–style breakfast featuring a pair of eggs cooked any style, bangers, bacon, and home fries ($7.50). Or sidestep pasta for the alfredo-chicken-broccoli pizza ($12.29 for a small, $16.79 for a large). Chefs hand-make falafel and forge it into a wrap ($5.79), and a triple-decker cheeseburger club sandwich ($7.99) features three stories of Black Angus beef and a small balcony where a sheltered princess reads forbidden books about mixing condiments. Meanwhile, sides of hummus and salad accompany Middle Eastern dishes such as the lamb shish kebab, which lances hunger with two skewers filled with cubed lamb, onion, and pepper.
Founded by longtime friends Jonathan Schwarz and Christopher Robbins, Stone Hearth Pizza builds its gourmet pies from organic, local, and sustainably produced ingredients. The casual pizzeria has expanded to six locations since opening in 2005?a pace of growth made possible by the popularity of chef and general manager Michael Ehlenfeldt?s Neapolitan-style thin-crust pizzas. New England craft beers complement the pizzas and pastas with a pleasantly bitter taste that reflects their conflicted attitude toward out-of-towners.
Needham House of Pizza has been spinning Greek-style pies, loading toasty subs, and saucing tender pastas for nearly half a century. The mouthwatering menu features a panoply of pan pizzas, made with homemade dough, sauce, and freshly shredded cheese. Try a simple one-topping gem ($11.79 for a large), or splay jaws for a specialty pie, such as barbecue chicken ($13.29 for a large) or the vitamin-rich veggie, piled with broccoli, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, and peppers ($16.89 for a large). Make your mouth an offer it will find exceedingly difficult to decline with a large Godfather pizza—a doughy don loaded with sliced tomato, olive oil, grilled chicken, artichoke hearts, and enough mozzarella to fuel friends and Fredos through dull cement-shoe fittings ($16.89). Needham House of Pizza also offers toasty subs, such as meatball, pepper and egg, and veal cutlet (all $5.69 for a small), as well as spaghetti and meatballs ($7.79) and cheese ravioli ($6.29) served with garlic bread.
According to a review in the Boston Phoenix, Hedy Jarras opened her own Sweet Tomatoes Pizza after a summer stint working in Cape Cod for Sweet Tomatoes founder Christopher Owens. She became so enamored with the atmosphere and the food that she convinced Owens to allow her to open her own location in her hometown.
Sweet Tomatoes Pizza's recipe forgoes the traditional red sauce in favor of chunky, uncooked tomatoes. Its ingredients create an “unapologetically pungent” pie that can be adorned with more than 31 toppings, including goat cheese, capers, and kalamata olives, and the crust combines a strong backbone of oil-free dough with “the merest hint of flavorful char.” Specialty pizzas such as the Pesto Splash attracts both the olfactory and ocular systems with a thick layer of pesto and chopped fresh garlic. Accompanying the pizzas, tuna-salad, chicken-parmesan, and prosciutto di parma sandwiches round out the Italian-focused menu.
Local Sharon Patch readers named Pizzigando Café's french fries the best in town. Their plaudit is backed up by gluten-free pizzas, burgers, and customizable calzones. But the award might also lead guests to try other items in the eatery's diverse culinary portfolio—it serves entrees such as baked lasagna, as well as buffalo wings in orders of 10, 20, 30, or the space in your stomach squared.
Pizzigando Café's décor is as simple and welcoming as the food is flavorful. It features solid-colored tablecloths and soft, mauve walls. The team takes pride in the eatery's journey from a dream to a spot of churned-up earth to a fully established restaurant. They chronicle this progression with a series of photos on their website.
Since its founding in 2001, The Upper Crust Pizzeria has fashioned artful thin-crust pizzas in 19 storefronts with modern, architectural touches. Chefs craft specialty pies inspired by local landmarks, from the sundried-tomato cobblestones of the Beacon Hill to the pesto-painted walls of the Green Monster. Diners can opt to spread sweet sauce over a regular or whole-wheat crust or request that any pie be served white without sauce, and combine slices with crisp salads or pounce on the geometric goodness of a spinach square or half moon-shaped calzone. Restaurant interiors are accoutered with modern flourishes such as flat-screen TVs and pan-decorated ceilings, allowing one to lie down and admire their reflection before a postmeal nap.