Antica Forma: Neapolitan Magic in Vernal (Utah)

What do dinosaurs, pizza and Israel have it common? Trick question. The city of Vernal is close to Dinosaur National Monument, located in the little visited corner of northeastern Utah, the state with the most bang for the National Park Service buck. The monument has 1,500 dinosaur bone fossils on display in situ, making it a... Continue Reading →

Antico Pizza Napoletana: Eating Portafoglio Style (Atlanta, GA)

I'm partial to thin-crust pizza with simple toppings. I should be able to count the ingredients on one hand. A crust crisped on the outside, chewy on the inside. If the pie doesn't sag in the middle, even better. This doesn't mean I won't appreciate another style. Antico Pizza Napoletana serves Neapolitan pizzas in Atlanta. In 2012, Zagat conducted a survey of the best... Continue Reading →

Patxi’s Pizza

Seattle's Ballard neighborhood has a stellar group of pizzerias, several of which opened only recently. Delancy, Veraci, Ballard Pizza, Stoneburner and Pagliacci come to mind. The latest entry is Patxi's Pizza serving a Chicago-style, thick crust pie. It originates from the San Francisco Bay Area, where the chain has nine outlets. There is great effort to use quality ingredients. The... Continue Reading →

Pizza Magic at Stoneburner

The recently opened Stoneburner has two meanings, our waiter informed us. Not only does it refer to the stone hearth oven in the kitchen but also to the namesake chef, Jason Stoneburner, who is also the executive chef at Bastille, only a block away in Ballard. The waiter added that the menu is Italian-inspired, much... Continue Reading →

Lunch at Pallino Pastaria (University Village)

Italian restaurants around here have gone upscale. It's almost impossible to find a ristorante with reasonable prices, especially in the suburbs where it's unlikely you'll come across a neighborhood spot. In walkable U.S. cities with large Italian-American populations like along the East Coast and in Chicago, this is probably not the case, but out here... Continue Reading →

Happy Hour at Taormina and Afterward (Honolulu, HI) **No Longer Observed**

An Italian restaurant doesn't immediately come to mind when trying to decide where to have a happy hour drink in Honolulu. Along the short stretch of Lewers Street south of Kalakaua, several cafes, restaurants and bars compete for your happy dollar. We intended to get a drink at Yard House known for its plethora of... Continue Reading →

Dinner at Sazio’s (Eastsound, Orcas Island, WA)

Ever since the closure of La Famiglia many years ago, Orcas Island didn't have a good Italian restaurant to go to. Portofino hardly qualifies since it's mainly a pizza joint. That all changed when Bill Patterson purchased Chimayo and opened Sazio di Notte. His plan was to convert Chimayo, a favorite Southwest restaurant among locals, to a... Continue Reading →

Cioppino at Sharks Seafood Bar & Steamer Co. (Newport, OR)

Sharks Seafood Bar alone would be worth a trip to Newport, Oregon, even if the town has many other virtues. The interior doesn't have a very big space, with only a few tables and a sitting bar toward the back. Their cioppino is justifiably famous, named by Sunset Magazine in 2003 as having the best version... Continue Reading →

Carmen’s Italian Hoagies

The hoagies of Philadelphia are justifiably famous. The sheer number of restaurants that serve them keeps the competition high. Besides Chickie’s, Carmen’s is a local favorite. I ate one of their sandwiches on our last trip to Philadelphia and was impressed. I ordered the same hoagie again, the Super Italian, filled with sweet sopressata, capocola,... Continue Reading →

Tommy Di Nic’s (Philadelphia)

Tommy Di Nic’s is another hoagie stand (Reading Terminal Station in Philadelphia) that appears on many favorite lists. They specialize in roast beef and roast pork, as well as pulled pork. I got the roast pork, plentiful slices that were piled into a light, crispy roll, mounded with sautéed broccoli rabe and sharp Provolone, and... Continue Reading →

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