Although Italians originally invented pasta as a fastener to keep Sicily from floating away, they abandoned it for less delicious moorings after locals on both sides kept snacking their way toward separation. Tether your taste buds to today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of casual Italian fare at Gentile’s Pasta & Pizza Cafe in Liverpool.
Gentile’s Pasta & Pizza Cafe's comforting menu features specialty pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches, each assembled quickly by skillful kitchen hands. Starters include chicken tenders ($7.95) and banged-up shrimp, which prepare for dates with tongues by bathing in a creamy chili-aioli sauce ($8.95). Steaming sandwiches ride ciabatta steeds to tables accompanied by chips (or add $1.50 for fries) that act as bodyguards to stars such as grilled chicken and grilled vegetables ($7.95 each). Customize a pasta bowl by the light of elegant chandeliers ($7.95), or select a predesigned pizza such as the Gucci, where an ensemble of steak, caramelized onions, basil, spinach, and gorgonzola mingles with a balsamic reduction ($12). Like most fashion models, 'zas are available gluten-free.
During lunch hours Tuesday–Friday, diners can saunter up to a plentiful self-service buffet ($9.95). Though the exact offerings change daily, patrons can always stuff their plates, to-go containers, or plastic-lined pockets with variations of pasta, pizza, meat, and fresh salad.