Italian cuisine is often stuffed with cheese, peppers, and hearty meats, much like highly ineffective scarecrows. Frighten off hunger pangs with today’s Groupon. For $12, you get $25 worth of authentic Italian cuisine at Pizza Man in Pompton Plains.
Pizza Man, helmed by Culinary Institute of America graduates Carmen and Anthony, boasts a vast menu full of traditional Italian fare served in a warm, sunny-walled setting. Starters such as garlic bread ($2–$3.95) train taste-bud troops for oncoming flavor offensives and the shrimp Norman ($15.95) sings breaded jumbo shrimp to sleep in its bed of white-wine-laced linguine. Sate stomachs with the veal Antonio—a veal cutlet delicately topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, ricotta cheese, and eggplant ($15.95)—or take tongues to the pasta festival ($15.95), where a medley of vegetables, chicken, shrimp, and Von Trapp children frolic across hills of bowtie pasta.
Carmelo Aparo's first culinary influences came from his parents. They immigrated to the US from Sicily in the late 1950s, bringing with them a trove of recipes for Sicilian sauces and pasta dishes. After graduating from culinary school, Carmelo Aparo opened Pizza Man in 1986, honoring his heritage by crafting much of the menu with the authentic recipes his parents brought with them so many years ago.
Today, the dining room's butter-hued walls seem to melt in the light from floor-to-ceiling windows as plates of baked clams and sautéed veal and chicken arrive steaming from the kitchen. High ceiling fans mingle the aromas of mussels, stuffed eggplant, and pastas laden with prosciutto. Patrons can consult a server about the establishment's specialties, such as the veal margarita with imported ham.