From within the coal-fired oven at Dino's Cucina, a menu of gooey pizzas, seafood dishes, and Italian favorites emerges to sate sauce-seeking appetites. Diners select from Dino’s three specialty pies or perform pizza alchemy, combining such high-quality ingredients as italian sausage, kalamata olives, and prosciutto to create a custom dish or edible portrait of William Henry Harrison. House specialties tackle hunger pangs with an assortment of chicken, seafood, and eggplant entrees, and wrangle noodle noshers with traditional and whole-wheat pastas. Between bites, patrons sip beverages from Dino’s full bar, check scores on flat-screen TVs, and tune out from workday hassles—such as deadlines and overly affectionate office supplies—with live entertainment every weekend.
The secret that has brought the Centrella family its restaurant success is an easy one to remember: keep things simple. In 1958, Vincenzo and Barbara Centrella left Naples for New York and opened Presto's as a way to introduce their community to the fresh, simple, stripped-down cooking style of their Italian ancestors. Today, the couple's son John and his childhood friends carry out the family mission and welcome patrons to Presto's with a menu heavily populated by the eatery's two namesakes—including a baked-ziti pizza, which marries the two dishes in a state-sanctioned ceremony involving a flaky pie, saucy penne, and two kinds of cheese.
For Chef Chris Tarta, a night of cooking at Bella Campania Ristorante feels just like the childhood evenings he spent in his grandmother's kitchen. The frenetic pace and the vivacious atmosphere remind him of the family feasts that he was helping to prepare at age 10. Even though Chef Tarta went on to receive formal training at culinary school, he still remains faithful to his Italian roots and traditions when preparing meals at his restaurant. He and his team make fresh mozzarella daily, create sausages in-house, prepare pastas from scratch, and follow time-honored family recipes when blending sauces.
The kitchen's unwavering dedication to classic, Old World-style home cooking is evident throughout the menu, which includes everything from thin-crust pizzas and baked ziti to hearty sandwiches and pan-seared veal. Since the eatery is BYOB, diners are free to bring a bottle of wine from home or from their own chianti well.