The Village Pizza Ristorante serves up piping-hot specialty pies, calzones, and Italian treats fashioned from closely guarded home recipes that fill the quirky, reclaimed-furniture-filled dining room with rich tomatoey perfume. Cooks forge the Blacksmith Special on an anvil of luscious pizza dough, made fresh daily, beating the pie into shape with meaty hammers of sausage, pepperoni, and crisp veggies ($15–$22). The Lamp Lighter pizza’s parmesan, feta, and provolone passengers melt and bubble atop a warm sea of garlic olive-oil sauce brimming with mushroom and artichoke reefs and aggressive schools of toothy sundried tomatoes ($16–$23). A fresh bread hammock gently rocks tender pepperoni, canadian bacon, and sausage to sleep, wrapped in a blanket of house-made marinara sauce and gooey mozzarella cheese, the edibles blissfully unaware of their impending ingestion as the pizza sub sandwich ($6.50). For a sweet finish, the restaurant serves up root-beer floats ($3), its cool ice cream ferrying 24 ounces of effervescent Mug root beer up straws on sweet, creamy pillows to diners’ pearly or braces-reinforced gates.
Bellagios Pizza, locally owned and operated since 1996, brews ripe batches of tomato sauce and tosses fresh disks of dough daily at their Wilsonville location, while crews at each restaurant sprinkle pies with delicious toppings to create a menu loaded with pizzas, grinders, and calzones. Heaps of spinach, artichokes, and juicy tomatoes guide wandering bellies out of the desert with the Oasis pizza ($10–$19.99), while the Butcher Block throws a crust-top party of salami, pepperoni, canadian bacon, and italian sausage ($10–$19.99), coming together in hearty harmony like a chorus of lumberjacks. Diners interested in a wider variety of toppings or in teaching children about medieval class structure can opt for a pie cleanly divided down the middle, such as a half-cheese, half-pepperoni pizza ($8–$17.99). Slathered with pizza sauce and adorned with meaty toppings, the Bellagio grinder ($5.99) competes with a host of calzones ($10.99) for the silver medal to the pizza menu's gold.
The young chefs have traded in their kitchen whites for cheery red and blue T-shirts, and their energetic chatter permeates the pizza parlor, where they work together to create unique pies. They dapple rounds of dough with boundary-pushing ingredients that range from alligator sausage and marinated steak to spicy peanut sauce and noodles. This dedication to whipping up peculiar pizzas—as well as pastas, sandwiches, and wings—is part of Pizza Schmizza’s mission to foster a relaxed, whimsical dining experience for everyone who sidles up to their counter. This family-friendly, merry environment helped earn the homegrown business more than 20 locations across the Pacific Northwest, making Pizza Schmizza franchises as easy to find as the Space Needle in a haystack.
Despite its name, Ye Olde Pizza Shoppe whips up innovative culinary creations that won't be found at pizza joints of yore. Menu items such as the chili cheese fry pizza and the black knight pizza smothered with ham and sauerkraut beckon adventurous palates, as do other novel toppings such as peanuts and oysters. But it's not all experimental at the shoppe. Classic offerings abound and include vegetarian pizzas, barbecue sandwiches, tuna melts, and mozzarella sticks.
The Grill at Silver Creek Lanes treats bowlers and spectators to hearty American feasts. As diners watch bowlers haul spheres down alleys lit by blacklight and 135" projection screens, they can keep hunger at bay with slices of pizza and chicken strips. The menu also includes cheeseburgers and jumbo hot dogs, complemented by sides such as sample platters, cheese sticks, onion rings, and curly fries.
“We had reserved a window spot and watched the birds and boats on the lake until dark,” wrote a reporter for the Statesman Journal after a visit to Caruso’s Italian Café & Wine Bar. The view of Staas Lake, visible from almost every seat in the house, was instrumental in landing the eatery a spot on the newspaper’s Best of list in 2011 and 2012. With his wife Angie in charge of hospitality, chef Jerry Phipps brings years of culinary experience to bear on northern Italian cuisine. In addition to pastas such as linguine and prawns, Phipps sautés halibut in a sherry-wine reduction and pairs milk-fed veal with mushrooms and light marsala sauce.
Fairy lights encircle the ceiling of the dining room, adding to the soft luminescence playing off of the burnished gold walls. Visitors chat with glasses of wine and small plates in the wine room’s sumptuous armchairs and loveseats alongside stuffed trophy beanbags. Beneath a wide pergola outside, silverware clatters merrily against the murmur of a stone fountain.