Chef Dante Boccuzzi’s third Cleveland restaurant, D.C. makes high-quality, house-made pastas fun and affordable. Sold by portion size — taste, appetizer, or main — the various combinations can be mixed and matched to create a wide-ranging feast. The rest of the menu is equally accessible, with sections for cured meats, Italian cheeses, marinated veggies, meatballs, entrées — even olives. Top it all off with 25 bottles of Italian wine priced south of $25 and you have the makings of an affordable Italian banquet.
Boasting one of the very few wood-burning ovens in town, Vero turns out some of the most authentic Neapolitan-style pizza around. Owner Marc-Aurele Buholzer inherited the oven — and the space — from the previous tenant, La Gelateria. The gelato is the same, but the pizza is much improved. An airy, chewy edge blistered with char gives way to a thin, crisp inner crust supporting a few choice ingredients. These pies are meant to be enjoyed fresh from the oven.