Everything about Pizano's screams of excess—from the framed sports memorabilia and larger-than-life-size murals of people and food covering every inch of wall space to the long bar that takes up almost half of the restaurant. In fact, the only thing about Pizano's that's not oversized is the restaurant itself.
Not to be outdone by the decor, the menu offers a lengthy list of Italian-style dishes, each of which make their way to your red-and-white checkered table in sizeable portions (take home sacks are a common sight). Lighter choices include fresh salads and homemade soups, like traditional minestrone topped with parmesan cheese, and are priced between $5 and $9. Or give in to the excess and dig into baskets of cheese sticks, fried calamari and portobella mushrooms, which cost $3-$9, while having a drink and watching a game on one of the flat screen TVs. Best devoured at one of the small, conversation-friendly tables, Pizano's hearty entrees consist of chicken marsala, seafood marinara or baked mostaccioli, and its Italian beef sandwich and half-pound burger are served with fries, coleslaw and a pickle. Each item on the menu is under $20, but most entrees are less than $13.
Despite all the menu choices, pizza is Pizano's bread and butter. One slice and you'll be coming back for seconds because this spot knows what you want in a pie; after all, the owner's father is Rudy Malnati Sr., the founder of Pizzeria Uno. Deep dish or thin crust, Pizano's will pile all the toppings you want onto its delicious crust, bake it until the cheese is gooey and the crust is crispy and bring it to your table (or your home if you call for delivery).
Average cost: $21-$30
Centerstage Reviewer: Albrey Nuss