Though diners at Manolo's Italian Restaurante & Pizzeria must wait before digging into their entrees, as each one is made to order, they can pass the time nibbling on an antipasti. After putting away a plate of the eatery's grilled bruschetta appetizer, diners rejoice at the appearance of steamy entrees crafted under the watchful eye of Manolo's chef and owner and an always-watching Santa Claus. The chef's signature sauce may only grace a chosen few of the restaurant's 13 entrees, but mixed greens and oven-warmed bread escort every one of them to the table. After dinner, the wait staff fills cups with one of four aged ports or Café Manolo, rum- and Kahlúa-spiked coffee capped with whipped cream. Manolo's Italian Restaurante & Pizzeria also caters to wedding receptions and other special events in a banquet room with seating for up to 100 guests.
Santo's enraptures palates with a main menu of piping-hot, oven-fresh pizzas and a diverse lineup of Italian appetizers. Like the Italian national anthem sung by a Venetian gondolier, starters tastefully prelude pizza feasts with Italian notes, such as tomato-and-basil-topped bruschetta, or a fresh mozzarella alla capprezze drizzled in rich extra-virgin olive oil. Next, a retinue of cheesy, bubbling pies rolls out from Santo's ovens, dressed for dinnertime in alfredo or tomato sauce or in a birthday suit of no sauce at all. Veggie pizzas wear a tasty corsage of mushrooms, peppers, banana peppers, broccoli, and spinach, and the tutto bianca delivers creamy ricotta, mozzarella, and spicy garlic on a base of alfredo.
After nearly 20 years spent working on the docks with his five younger brothers, Greek immigrant William Fotopoulos opened the first ABC Pizza in Connecticut in 1966. Today, each of its dozen central-Florida locations tosses dough with skill that suits the Fotopoulos mantra of "Always Better Crust." Custom specialty pizzas mingle feta and greek peppers with pepperoni and pineapple, and thin slices of gyro meat fill sandwiches. ABC Pizza also caters special events such as birthday parties, luncheons, and retrospectives of Bill Paxton's film career.