Alesci's of Shoregate is a specialty grocer and deli that dispenses imported foods, sliced meats, and prepared meals. Freshly sliced deli meats include turkey, capicola, and salami. A sprawling collection of shelves shows off a huge selection of wines easily matched with pizzas topped with pepperoni, mushrooms, or sausage. Daily specials have included items such as rigatoni, eggplant parmigiano, lasagna, and pasta e fagioli, and a selection of breads is also available.
Cala's Pizzeria features a menu stacked with cheesy, fried, and saucy savories. Tantalize tongue buds with starters such as breaded mozzarella cheese sticks ($4.99) or Cala's signature jumbo wings, extra-large hunks of meat stuck to the bone, deep fried to crispy resistance, and generously slathered, like a store-bought baby, in one of ten flavor-packed sauces ($9.99 for 15). Multiple varieties of pizza baked to order are known to emerge from ovens ($9.99 and up for large 12-inch), and specialty pizzas such as the bacon-double-cheeseburger and Italian-meatball pizzas will appease variety-seeking diners ($10.99/small, $14.99/large, $17.99/family). Cala's french-bread pizzas fuse the flavors of two highly haughty cuisines into a cheesy sandwich ($5.99 and up).
In 1972, Joseph Catanese created Giuseppe’s Pizza & Subs on the square-crust foundation of Sicilian-style pies and oven-roasted sandwiches. Like their dough, the chefs in Giuseppe’s kitchen rise early and often, making breads from scratch daily. Their pizza canvases also fuel the efforts of other local eateries by providing them with pre-baked crusts and frozen dough balls, which are also ideal for training for an upcoming basketball-eating contest.
A red-and-white-striped awning welcomes patrons into Burger Nuts, where more than 35 toppings—all available for no extra charge—adorn seven types of patties and three varieties of bready encasement. Egg, multigrain, and pretzel buns clasp never-frozen certified Angus beef, bison, turkey, Kobe, bratwurst, chorizo, and veggie burgers, which patrons can decorate with such eclectic ingredients as pepperoni, peanut butter, sauerkraut, and pepper jack cheese. Burger-free fare includes grilled-cheese sandwiches, chicken fingers, and hand-dipped milk shakes that are served at the exact same temperature as that of a healthy polar bear's nose.
Any Irish pub worth its weight in Guinness can make a mean corned beef. It takes a special kind of visionary, however, to stack that corned beef on top of a towering American hamburger. Like most of its regular patrons, Croagh Patrick's Pub has a thick streak of green in its lineage. Willoughby's premier neighborhood hangout finds common ground between its Irish ancestry and its American present, creating such crossover dishes as Celtic egg rolls and the aforementioned Irish-American burger.
At Molta Bella, dining pairs dive into side salads as dough-throwers launch hand-tossed or thin-crust pizzas skyward. Tuck into specialty pizzas such as the Ultimate Meat, laden with pepperoni, sausage, ham, and bacon, providing more protein than a polypeptide convention. The Hawaiian pizza blankets pineapple, bacon, and ham beneath its red sauce, and the Philly Steak pizza gussies itself up in a white sauce, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and strips of philly steak. Groups of four add an order of cheesy breadsticks to their salad-and-pizza spread, perfect for mid-slice munching or carbo-duels.
Inside The Wild Goose, which won the people’s choice award from the Taste of Willoughby, a stone oven bakes pizzas laden with eclectic ingredients, including elbow noodles, celery, and potatoes. Chefs top the Galway Bay pie with alfredo sauce, rock shrimp, crabmeat, cheese, and a sprinkle of parsley, and they slather the That’s A Buff Chick pizza with chicken, cheese, celery, crumbled blue cheese, and a drizzle of buffalo sauce. When not customizing crusts, they ladle up bowls of irish potato soup and fill hoagies with saucy meatballs as pro football games and amateur potato-peeling competitions play on televisions propped behind a granite-topped bar.