Taj Mahal Restaurant, named for Uttar Pradesh's famed palace, celebrates India's diverse cultures and culinary styles. Its chefs focus on a panoply of ethnic recipes and regional dishes from areas such as Mumbai, Delhi, and Agra. They prepare everything from simple comfort food to meals traditionally enjoyed by the upper classes and their pet lobsters. They use traditional preparation methods such as the tandoor oven to bake and simmer chicken, lamb, and seafood with herbs, spices, and yogurt. Though they specialize in catering, they also serve dishes inside the restaurant, and they make Indian sweets in-house daily.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
Using Italian recipes handed down over generations, the cooks at Serino's Pizzeria and Pub knead fresh dough to coat with house-made sauce, then pile on pure mozzarella cheese. Servers also carry out dozens of hot sandwiches, grilled paninis, subs, and burgers for diners to eat as they lean back against exposed-brick walls. When hunger for a hot-giardiniera-and-italian-beef pizza strikes, diners can eat in to enjoy the ambiance, call in to pick up orders at the drive-thru or request delivery to make sure hot wings don't flutter out car windows while they're watching the road.
After main courses, there's only one dessert on the menu at Serino's: a deep-dish, housemade chocolate-chip cookie, served smothered in vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and a cherry, all drizzled in chocolate sauce. The catering menu supplies hosts and hostesses with even more portable chocolate or macadamia cookies, as well as traditional Italian entrees.
Celebrating its 25th birthday in 2013, Bella Luna Cafe continues to do what it does best: quench appetites with Italian favorites. The restaurant anchors its menu with three styles of pizza: deep dish, thin crust, and stuffed, which come packed with enough goodies to address different topping cravings. The cafe also offers a build-your-own-pizza option, enabling diners to customize their pies with varying sizes, crusts, saws—a rotary saw puts a pizza cutter to shame. Pizzas aside, Bella Luna specializes in pasta, too. In fact, the cafe has 10 different pasta options, including a home-style, eight-finger cavatelli creation served with a vodka sauce.
Ristorante Amalfi has been serving up traditional Italian cuisine for more than 20 years, and proffers an expansive menu that ranges from pasta and veal to chicken and seafood. Open up cuisine ports for delicious docking vessels of appetizers, such as eggplant rolled with ricotta and mozzarella before raising a stomach mast to accommodate a hearty entree ($7.95). Like the three musketeers, the linguine, shrimp, and broccoli form a dynamic trio and ride horseback through forests of teeth ($19.25). Also escorting a fleet of flavor to the taste buds is the veal marsala, assembled with flotillas of fresh mushrooms and scallions in a dry marsala wine sauce ($23.95). Seafood devotees can welcome the zuppa di pesce, a bonanza of clams, mussels, shrimp, baccalà, and calamari steamed in a scrumptious marinara and delivered to the table on a bed of linguini ($26.95).
Cousins Pizza Pub boasts a menu of specialty pizzas padded with sandwiches and salads. Appetizers such as fried zucchini ($6) and mini tacos ($6.25) introduce pizzas founded on a range of crusts including thin, double-dough, pan, and stuffed. The cheeseburger pizza protects its cargo from roving Hamburglars by offering a pizza disguise to beef, american cheese, mayo, lettuce, and tomato ($16.50–$24), and chicken alfredo pizza tops pies with grilled chicken and a cream sauce usually reserved for flavoring pastas and styling angel hair ($13.50–$20). The strip steak sandwich also offers an alternative delivery system for a forkable classic accented by onions and a choice of american, mozzarella, or swiss cheeses ($9.50), and the Julienne salad mingles turkey and ham with cheese and hard-boiled egg ($7.25).