Jon Stewart and some of your other fave celebs take the stage for a great cause, the Orchid Show begins, and Will Smith back on the big screen. Happy Weekend, NYC!
If you’re searching for THE best coal-fired brick oven, New York-style thin crust pizza in the world, look no further. Grimaldi’s offers over 100 years of pizza-making traditions and the tantalizing aroma of pizza and calzones baked to perfection in the signature coal burning oven. Why coal-fired ovens? It gives our pizza and calzones a unique flavor and a crisp crust that is just not possible from gas, convection or wood burning ovens.
Eataly, Chicago features a 63,000-square-foot market including 23 unique eateries. There are 25 Eataly market places throughout the world: 13 in Japan, 10 in Italy and single locations in New York City, Dubai and Turkey. Chicago is the latest city to experience this Italian global phenomenon. Co-owned by Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, this location is the largest in the United States and cost upwards of $20 million to complete. Check out this video to see what the buzz is all about.
Buvette is an exquisite French-Italian breakfast cafe where you can meet for food and drink anytime of day. Located in the West Village, this unique restaurant serves a wide variety of food. You can either go in the morning and eat a fluffy brandade with fresh squeeze orange juice or sit down for dinner with steak tartare and a glass of champagne. Another satisfying feature includes a French and Italian list of wines that makes Buvette a place where breakfast and wine can coincide.
Nick Varano, owner of Strega, Nico and Nick Varano’s Famous Deli Restaurants, just might be Boston’s biggest celebrity restaurateur. Some of the celebrities spotted at the North End favorite Strega include none other than Tony Soprano himself (the late James Gandolfini), Robert DeNiro, Paris Hilton, Steven Tyler, The Rock and Justin Timberlake. Diners of all ages flock to this super hot Hanover Street restaurant not only for the lively scene, where Varano claims you will be treated like a celebrity even if you aren’t, but also for the authentic Italian cuisine. There are Italian gangster movies, i.e. The Godfather, running continuously on the numerous TVs set in the wall. House specialties include veal chops stuffed with prosciutto and fontina cheese and grilled filet mignon with a Remy-Martin sauce. The Buccatini All’ Amatricana (pasta sautéed with pancetta, San Marzano tomato sauce with onions covered with a blend of pecorino and parmigiano cheeses) just might be the best dish on the menu. End the night with a sweet limoncello or a strong cup of cappuccino.
The Siena Tavern concept was an idea born during a trip to Italy, where there was a little tavern with a good open kitchen and a kind of rustic look that the owners liked. They got that idea in Italy and brought it to Chicago, modernized it a bit, and created a modern-meet-rustic restaurant with a menu of homemade pastas and Neapolitan pizzas baked in a Woodstone oven.
The food is very local with its peak of flavor and freshness.
The restaurant has become a hit in the River North neighborhood. As Chef Fabio Viviani says, “When you see the same people ten times, with all the great selection and great choices around here, in this town, that’s a home run to me.”
Visit the website at sienatavern.com.
On the quieter side of South Beach, away from the clubbiness of Washington Avenue and the hawkers on Lincoln Road, many restaurants are popping up along Purdy Avenue in the Sunset Harbor neighborhood. Purdy is where the Italian eatery Sardinia Enoteca can be found, as well as their summer lunch and dinner specials running June and July.
Mimicking the popular early fall Miami Spice deals, Sardinia is offering a prix fixe $23 lunch and $39 dinner menu for the two months.
Owner Antonio Gallo and Executive Chef Pietro Vardeu have concocted several delicious choices. For lunch try their spaghetti carbonara, housemade potato gnocchi or Sardinian tuna fish as an entree and delicate mussels or a fresh caprese salad as an appetizer. Dinner selections include a few creative octopus appetizers and choices of housemade rigatoni or diver scallops as entrees. The Wine & Dine Special as they’re calling it, also includes 40% off select wine bottles.
In addition, they’ve launched happy hour specials on drinks available Monday through Friday from 4-7 p.m. They include $7 wines by the glass of Bianchi, Rossi or Frizzante or well and featured Stoli cocktails. Corona, Miller Lite, Stella Artois, Heineken or Peroni are all $3.
Sardinia Enoteca is located at 1801 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach. Visit their website at sardinia-ristorante.com for a complete list of what’s available.
The Bristol and Boka Restaurant Group have teamed up for this rustic Italian restaurant in the Landmark space in Lincoln Park, where a wood-burning grill and roasting spits work hard to turn out dishes such as cherry and duck bruschetta, whole grilled fish, pizza and panzanella.
No need to travel to Italy for the perfect Parm, just head down to 248 Mulberry Street and taste the goods! Classic chicken parm sandwiches with a little downtown new york twist. All of the ingredients they use are locally grown which is part of their Italian motto. Each piece of chicken parm comes with a side of lasagna which is hands down the best lasagna in all of the city. Their secret for making awesome lasagna? Easy: they toast each side of the lasagna so that every bite provides the necessary crunch.
Getting a jump on the summer season, when mostly locals are in town, Coral Gables known as the “City Beautiful” is offering diners incredible deals at some of the area’s best known restaurants. Similar to the Miami Spice promotion in August, this one lasts only two weeks from June 4-17.
The Fifth Annual Coral Gables Restaurant (a misnomer since the promotion lasts two weeks) includes 20% off regular prices on a fixed three-course lunch and/or dinner menu. The list of restaurants is impressive and features some of the city’s finest, as well as some newcomers.
Italian restaurants like Anacapri on Ponce, the classic and institution of Italian cuisine in the Gables Caffe Abbracci, Caffe Vialetto and Randazzo’s Little Italy are participating as are Le Provencal, Cibo Wine Bar, Talavera Cocina Mexicana and John Martin’s Irish Pub.
Click here to view all participating restaurants and their menus.
Sure there are fantastic pastas on the menu, but the star here is the salami after all, it’s billed as a “Salami Shop and Trattoria.” Those nifty wooden boards get plenty of use here, piled high with hard salami rounds and thin slices of prosciutto and truffle ham and a round ramekin filled with olives. It’s a veritable feast for those who love to nibble.
One of their most authentic dishes and one not easily found on Italian restaurant menus is the gnocchi alla romana. Unlike the traditional small round gnocchi, these are thick round homemade semolina gnocchi topped with parmesan cheese and crispy prosciutto and baked until it’s crispy and bubbling. Aside from the mouthwatering pastas, they’re also serving succulent roasted pork loin wrapped in crispy pork belly and slowly braised pork spare ribs.
Salumeria 104 is located at 3451 NE 1 Ave., #104, 305-424-9588, www.salumeria104.com
Osteria la Buca is located on Melrose Ave, two blocks East of Paramount Studios on the outskirts of Hollywood. We celebrate the gift that is Southern California produce and grass roots Italian cooking. We have a focused list of Italian and California wines and offer a full bar specializing in boutique spirits from around the world. We represent handmade, whole beast, long braise, and farm fresh traditions. We welcome all to gather around our tables.
Stuck in the heart of West Hollywood, Dominick’s is one of the only places in Los Angeles made to feel as though you are dinning at your family’s home for Sunday supper. Though a 2004 renovation took place at the restaurant, executive chefs and co-owners opted to keep the homey vibe by incorporating dark woods and booths to add levels of comfort and style.
With Italian fare offering signature dishes such as a grilled artichoke appetizer and a flourless chocolate cake for dessert, patrons swear by the food, flavor and fun that Dominick’s promises to deliver. Along with the essentials such as homemade fettuccine and grilled chicken paillard, Dominick’s brings in families and friends on their favorite night of the week: Sunday.
Sunday dinners at Dominick’s are one of the most popular nights for the restaurant due to the weekly change of menu, multiple course meal and $15.00 price per person. Offering favorites such as skirt steak and potatoes with a strawberry shortcake dessert, Sunday night supper at Dominick’s is meant for anyone with a true taste for Italian.
Though the food alone is reason enough to visit this Italian stop, Dominick’s offers an extensive wine list for the true vino enthusiast. With a long list of bottles to choose from, many visitors often opt for a $10.00 bottle offered on Sunday nights.
When the food is served and wine is poured, most people try to sneak a peek into the kitchen in hopes of finding an Italian grandmother doing all the cooking. Though you are likely to find chefs Ebbink and Boudet cooking away, we can always dream.
Now that’s amore.
Philadelphia is known for its BYOB restaurants. The only downside is that many BYOB restaurants are small and cramped. While some may enjoy the small rustic charm, others like to eat without elbowing their neighbor. Melograno located in Rittenhouse Square offers authentic Italian cuisine in a spacious atmosphere. If you have a larger party to accommodate, this is definitely the place to gather friends with copious bottles of wine. Chef Gianluca Demontis expanded Melograno to their location on 20th and Spruce for business, and in return created a more desired dining atmosphere with an expanded menu. From snail soup to classic Italian dishes like Carbanora, every dish is unique with a touch of Roman flare. For the full menu visit www.melogranorestaurant.com
Insider’s Tip: Like many Philadelphia BYOB restaurants, Melograno is closed on Mondays. They only accept reservations on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings- Fridays and Saturdays are walk-in only. 215.875.8116
Whether you are looking to run into the Real Housewife of Beverly Hills herself or her precious Pomeranian Giggy, Lisa Vanderpump’s Villa Blanca in Beverly Hills combines Mediterranean and Italian cuisine with Asian touches and influences. This beautiful eatery located on Brighton Way is close to major Beverly Hills boutiques and shops and is the perfect place to grab lunch on the patio for some serious people watching.
The interior is described as “sexy and comfortable” by the designer herself and brings an element of comfort and coziness to the color white. With grandiose mirrors hanging on the walls as well as exotic and elegant flower arrangements everywhere, Villa Blanca offers brunch, lunch, dinner and a fancy bar area for all your drinking and dining needs.
The dinner menu consists of Crispy Rice & Spicy Tuna appetizers with entrees such as Sweet & Spicy Butterflied Shrimp, Chicken Milanese and Japanese Mushroom Chicken. Brunch at Villa Blanca means $10 specials including Villa Blanca’s Breakfast Pizza, Vegetarian Frittata and Prosciutto and Melon.
Whether it’s for the food, people watching or a quick glimpse of Lisa herself, a visit to the Villa will have everyone saying, Bravo.
If you feel like dining alongside Whitney Port, Jennifer Lopez, or Kristin Cavallari, Cecconi’s is an absolute must for some of the best Italian food Los Angeles has to offer.
Located in West Hollywood, Cecconi’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in one of many dining areas such as the main dining area, bar, terrace or Butterfly Room. The Butterfly Room is the restaurant’s private dining area that can be rented out for private events and parties and can seat up to 16 people.
The dinner menu is filled with Italian favorites such as Potato Gnocchi with Bolognese and Wild Mushroom Risotto. The menu also features charcoal grill and wood oven dishes such as Eggplant Parmigiana and Mary’s Farm Chicken Paillard.
Though the food and dining experience is elegant, the restaurant gears itself towards a younger crowd by offering a midnight menu offered Thursday through Saturday from 11pm to 1am.
Bring your appetites and your autograph books.
It has been said that Spiaggia has the best Italian food in all of America by notables for Travel & Leisure and Esquire. Yep, read it and weep Northeast coasters who think you’re the only people to recreate Italian masterpieces.
Going strong since 1984, chef and partner Tony Mantuano is a name to be reckoned with in the world of cuisine. Everyone knows he’s a master, no contests necessary. Just take a look at the crowd that eats here: Michelle Obama, Sir Elton John, the late Princess Diana, Sir Mick Jagger, Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, Billy Joel, Paul Newman, Fergie and Josh Duhamel, Wolfgang Puck and Joel Robuchon.
En sum, “Il mio sogno realizzato” says Spiaggia owner and founder Larry Levy, his dream come true.
Take a closer look at what’s right under your nose with Underground Atlanta’s “Backyard Adventure Package” which will include one From Civil War to Civil Rights Guided History Tour Pass, one Casual Dining Voucher, one Free Rita’s Italian Ice Voucher and one Underground Atlanta Tote Bag…all for just $20
Located in the Italian North End section, Benevento’s is a welcome addition to the city. The restaurant focuses on specialty pizzas such as the Victoria (sautéed shrimp scampi with diced tomatoes, garlic, white wine, basil and light mozzarella cheese) or make-your-own by choosing from a variety of toppings (think homemade meatball and prosciutto) and sauces such as garlic and extra virgin olive oil or vodka sauce. There is a good selection of homemade pastas cooked to order as well as seafood and chicken dishes and even a kid’s menu for the youngsters in the group. Visit beneventosboston.com for more information.
Arrive at Calamari Restaurant in Coconut Grove and prepare to be tantalized by Italian dishes bursting with rich yet delicate flavors by Chef Alex Lopez, a technique he has spent years perfecting and continues evolving. With his training mostly in Italian kitchens around Miami, with some Asian and Cuban, his menu is a fusion of this trio.
The spacious restaurant is located on the quieter side of Coconut Grove, further down Main Highway. Lopez’ menu is a combination of original creations alongside classic Italian dishes. The molded tuna tartare topped with layers of fresh avocado and homemade crème fraiche, dollops of red and black caviar over chive and truffle oil and soy sauce is a must try. Grouper aqua pazza on a delicate tomato sauce surrounded by clams and mussels and chicken paillard are also great entree choices and coconut flan or panacotta with mixed berry sauce are awesome desserts.
Calamari Restaurant is located at 3540 Main Highway, Coconut Grove
Home to a large Italian-American crowd, any old bloke will tell you that North Beach is the neighborhood to be in if you’re looking for a scintillating slice of San Francisco’s finest pizza. But with more than a dozen pizzerias within a five block radius, how can you tell the run-of-the-mill from the cream-of-the-crop? Leave it to the professionals. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana is the dough and marinara of nine-time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani — the first American and non-Neapolitan to ever claim the prize for “Best Pizza Margherita.”
With ingredients imported from Napoli each week alongside produce from local organic farmers and artisan cheese makers, Tony handcrafts his award-winning pizzas in the heart of Little Italy from the same 900-degree, wood-burning oven that catapulted him to fame. Just steps away from Washington Square Park, the full-service restaurant turns out a limit of 73 celebrated medium Margherita crusts a day, fresh-as-can-be ingredients permitting. If you’re not one of the chosen ones, you can take your pick of more than 25 other varieties, from truffle to quail egg and speck to the New Jersey-style “Original Tomato Pie.” If baked dough isn’t your cup of tea, praiseworthy antipasti, pastas, inslata, and dolci also await.
If you venture into the uptown scene in Dallas, you know that Coal Vines is the hip hangout where pizza and wine are accessories to a great time. For several years now, Coal Vines has provided a meet-up spot to grab cocktails and a slice of pie before a big night out or a late night patio date. Wines of cabernet, chardonnay, merlot, pinot noir or sparkling…there is no shortage of the perfect sip to go along with coal oven baked pizzas. If pizza won’t hit the spot, perhaps Rigatoni or Fennel Crusted Salmon will do the trick.
Though it’s a small venue and there isn’t much room to move around, the space reverberates a neighborhood vibe that is comfortable and familiar. Whether it’s a first or last stop on your night out, Coal Vines can rev up or wind down any excellent time.
For years food has brought families together around the dinner table and no one values this tradition more than the owners of The Palm Restaurant.
Recognized as one of the top steakhouses in Atlanta, The Palm boasts an impressive celebrity guest list.
The dining room is uniquely decorated in classic cartoons and caricatures of local regulars, politicians and celebrities covering its walls. Old world charm and hospitality provides an inviting atmosphere while delectable primed aged steaks, jumbo Nova Scotia lobsters and Italian fare line the menu.
In the mood for a little Italian? Skip the checkerboard tablecloths and drip candles, and say “ciao” to Bibiana Osteria & Enoteca, a very chic alternative to the typical Italian eatery. Outfitted in luxe chocolate browns and interesting metallic lighting, Bibiana’s chic interior exudes sophistication, reaching out to power diners and well-traveled patrons alike.
A product of well-known restauranteur Ashok Bajaj, Bibiana is led by executive chef Nicholas Stefanelli, who brings a light, updated Italian menu full of traditional classics like decadent pastas and crisp pizzas, as well as unique main courses that modernize the Southern European cuisine.
Start off with the gorgeous Datteri, or Mejool dates stuffed with ricotta salata, salty pancetta and sprinkled with slivered almonds. For a decadent entrée, try the Anatra, or roasted Muscovy duck breast with creamy celery root puree, dried cherries and rich red wine sauce. For the adventurous diner, Stefanelli offers veal sweetbreads with rutabaga, and candied oranges, dusted with fennel pollen.
Insider Tip: For a more low-key evening, grab a seat in Bibiana’s mod lounge area and sample the small plate menu, available from 2:30-5:30 PM on most weekdays.
Making a toast is oh-so-easy at Chicago’s chic River North Gallery district’s restaurant, Prosecco. After all, they have the largest selection of sparkling wines in the whole city. White linen tables, authentic seasonal Italian cuisine with homemade pastas, and plenty of romantic ambiance make this place a hotspot for dates– and for those looking for love.
At Prosecco it’s not just about making that initial toast with the sparkling wine, however. The mantra is that the sparkling wines of Italy stand alone, both the reds and the whites and need not/should not be limited only as a starter beverage, but rather enjoyed throughout the duration of the meal. For those unfamiliar with the pairing of sparkling wines for each course, leave it to the friendly staff to guide you to the bubbly of your preferences. And don’t forget about the elegant Italian food that’s made Prosecco one of the best new restaurants in Chicago.
The bar here is equally as fun as the ristorante. Painted to look like Caravaggio’s “Confessional of St. Paul,” it’s the drinks that will have people confessing, like the Mionetto Brut Prosecco with Chambord and 24 carat gold dust! The long, classic bar is one of the best in the city, making it perfect for those wishing to get buzzed on bubbly wine with a new, special someone.
When a quick trip to Veneto, Italia isn’t quite doable, Prosecco should suffice just fine. Cheers to that.