Teenagers idolize pizza due to its portable nature and refusal to stay in a box, man. Eat your way to independence with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of wood-fired pizza and Italian fare at La Villa Pizzeria in Park Slope.
Flickering, wood-fire ovens bake the crusty contents of La Villa Pizzeria's expansive menu of 19 signature pies as well as pasta plates and meaty entrees. Topped with buffalo-milk mozzarella imported from Campania, Italy, the margherita pizza is an Old World melange of tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and a handwritten thank-you note from an Italian buffalo ($14 for a small round; $25 for a large round). The vegetale pie is a bouquet of colorful roughage including spinach, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and broccoli ($14 for a small round; $24 for a large round), and bubbling squares of the thin-crust pizza a metro bear sautéed broccoli and sliced fennel sausage with buffalo mozzarella ($25). Forks may rest their pronged heads upon pillows of ricotta-stuffed ravioli ($13) and dream of entrees such as the sautéed shrimp with marsala wine, asparagus, and wild mushrooms trying to win tender artichoke hearts ($19).
La Villa Pizzeria & Restaurant
Maurina Branchinelli wakes up early to prep ingredients in La Villa Pizzeria's kitchen. The mother of the restaurant's current owner is known to make sure her pomodoro sauce has the right amount of olive oil and even hop behind the line to help sauté during the dinner rushes. This love of food runs throughout the Branchinelli family, from Maurina's husband, Benito, to her brother, Gino, who opened the family's first restaurant in 1955. The Zagat-rated restaurant has thrived since opening in Queens in 1982, enough to expand to two locations in Brooklyn.
Inside their kitchens, chefs stoke wood-burning ovens to bake more than 19 varieties of pizzas, including Neapolitan- and Sicilian-style pies dressed with whole-milk mozzarella and a specialty San Marzano tomato-and-basil sauce. Each location has a spacious dining room where patrons can split appetizers of homemade meatballs, dig into plates of sautéed Nature veal marsala, and down a rich shot of espresso before a long night of wondering whether they paid the phone bill.