For decades, The Union Chowder House has been a homey respite from the blustering Atlantic winds, dishing up hearty plates of pasta, seafood, and steaks for the South Weymouth community. Classic New England cooking is the star here, with a menu populated by mainstays including chowders, lobster rolls, and fried oysters. Guests will also find specialty pizzas and kids’ options, a people-pleasing move more effective than serving pasta shaped like Tom Brady’s silhouette.
When Chef Mike Richardi vacations in Italy, he takes the opportunity to learn recipes, seek out new flavors, and glean inspiration for Spazio's seasonal menus. Though the recipes change to incorporate new Mediterranean and Italian influences, they always feature housemade pastas and breads as well as market-fresh seafood. Previous menus have included grilled cuts of pork tenderloin and lamb as well as wood-fired pizzas with toppings from the kitchen's selection of nine meats, vegetables, and minerals.
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.
The cooks at Caffe Tosca fashion rustic recipes that recall Tuscany and Sicily, melding traditional Italian styles with American influence. Whet appetites better than scrolling through online image galleries of breadsticks with a quartet of traditional meatballs adorned with toasted brioche breadcrumbs ($8) or a beet salad crowned with crumbled goat cheese ($11). Caffe Tosca’s chicken saltimbocca brandishes prosciutto and sage between sides of rustic potatoes and asparagus ($19), and beef dishes such as veal chops, skirt steaks, or filet mignon ($23+) come with a choice of butter and two sides. The mezzi rigatoni bolognese intermixes cinnamon and parmigiano reggiano ($11) in a marriage of sweet and savory flavors more harmonious than a boy band dancing on a teenaged piano.
If its name doesn't tip them off, visitors to Campanale's Restaurant need only glance at the menu to realize this place is Italian to its core. More than 10 specialty pizzas take up but a small slice of real estate on the menu and include the chicken fradiavlo loaded with hot cherry peppers and onions. The rest of the menu features familiar Italian favorites, including marsala and parmigiana, alongside dishes that are a bit harder to come by such as grilled swordfish and sirloin pizziola–a 16-ounce sirloin topped with mozzarella and spicy marinara sauce. For added convenience, Campanale's also has a gluten-free spread packed with many of its regular dishes.
Whipping up hand-kneaded dough and an extensive list of toothsome toppings, Schoolhouse Pizza equips omnivorous academics with PhD's in Pizzaology. Peruse the menu while dinner DJs spin up circular comestibles with each personalized neapolitan thin-crust pie (12", $8+). Select from more than three dozen tasty toppings that range from traditional pepperoni and mushrooms to luxurious Italian edibles such as sopressata, pesto, and slivers of Da Vinci's grated-cheese sculptures. Keep stomachs from howling all night long with specialty pizzas such as the headmaster, featuring truffle-infused prosciutto and porcinis ($15+), or the CPA with tasty artichoke and grilled chicken ($11+). Schoolhouse Pizza also offers a bevy of savory paninis that are suitable for lunchtime munching, stoking stomach fires, or luring hungry longtime boyfriends into wedding chapels.