Best of Metromix Atlanta: ICE CREAM
No matter what the season, Atlantans love ice cream, from classic cones and delicious gelato to off-the-wall flavors and upscale frozen desserts.
And the winner is…
2770 Lenox Road
Atlanta, GA 30324
This Lenox Road pizzeria has a gelato selection that keeps customers coming back for more.
Pizzeria Venti - Ranked #1 of 84 Restaurants
in Cheyenne on TripAdvisor!
112 E. 17th Street, Cheyenne, WY
“…Cheyenne is full of chain restaurants but only a few locally owned places. Pizzeria Venti is definitely the best restaurant in all of Cheyenne. The service is amazing and the food even better. The servers treat you like family and there are always great specials going on. Never had a bad meal at this place”
Bocce Ball takes 1st place in the Taste of The Mountain culinary competition held in Snowflake, AZ
Pizza Done Right
A new sliceria in town is offering the best of both worlds - upscale eats, basement prices.
From FACE Magazine - May 2009. Original article here. (Pages 46-47)
by Amanda Bedgood
Pizzeria Vent may have an old school feel with the owners tending to customers and smooth running system, but the food is anything but the norm and this certainly isn't the average pizzeria.
The new sliceria (that means the pies are served by the slice if you didn't already guess) at 104 East Kaliste Saloom uses uber fresh ingredients, has a chef who's the real deal running the kitchen and slices that will make you a repeat customer.
It's clear the formula is working if you show up during lunchtime as a crowd gathers at the restaurant in the new Normandy Square Shopping Center. The owner, Greg Merchant, his not-so-silent-partner and dad Gerald along with Greg's brother/chef Patrick are on hand to give a break down of the menu as customers arrive and visit tables to ensure everyone's happy with their meal. It certainly doesn't feel like the doors opened just a few months ago (mid-February) or that the man at the helm, Greg, knew nothing more about restaurants than what he liked to eat in them.
"I knew nothing but that I like to eat," he says with a laugh." And Patrick ran a 5-star restaurant in Aspen and we were fortunate to get him."
After decades in the pharmaceutical business Greg decided to venture out on his own and the restaurant business seemed like his speed. Recognizing that he wasn't an expert he set out to find a unique franchise - an upscale pizza place.
"Somewhere nice to take the family with reasonable prices," he says.
And the prices are killer. A piece of pizza, which is an ample rectangle of fantastic crust piled with toppings, starts at less than $5.
"I like the idea of doing it by the slice because a woman can come in here and doesn't have to have enough people with her to order a whole pizza," Greg says. "She can come in and get a slice and a salad."
The salads are also not the norm for a classic pizza joint and include varieties topped with tart green apples or sweet strawberries.
Greg came across Pizzeria Venti as he looked for a franchise that could offer expertise and support as he started the business. The closest location was in Tennessee and he flew out to see if it was what he wanted.
"I flew there, ate and said 'This is tremendous. I'm doing it,'" he says.
Once Greg was in, the company required he spend time in Italy to learn the Italian way of eating. He (and his wife who wasn't getting left behind on this business trip) spent ten days on a working farm in Tuscany immersed in the ways of Italy and its food. In fact, the black and white photos gracing the walls of Pizzeria Venti were taken during the trip.
While everything about a slice at Pizzeria Venti is great - only the highest quality cheese, which means no greasy pools on your slice, nothing is frozen - the standout when you take a bite is the crust.
"The water is imported from Italy for the dough," Greg explains. "The mineral content in the water from the specific area of Italy gives it a buttery flavor but really light."
Greg says the place is as much a bakery as a pizzeria. "We have to make it (dough) every morning," Greg says. "If you come here in the morning it smells like a bakery."
There are also no trans fats. And the menu doesn't stop with pizza and salad. There's truly something on the menu for everyone from their hearty stuffed pizzas and classic pastas like Lasagna and Manicotti to Tuscan White Bean Soup and Goat Cheese Fonduta Marinara. And there's even more variety when it comes to catering. There are loads of recipes to choose from or Patrick can whip up something special.
"I'm so thankful to have my brother and dad. I couldn't do it without them. There's so much to juggle," Greg says.
As for what the future holds as Pizzeria Venti gets off the ground, Greg says ultimately "the food speaks for itself."
If that's true the tomato and basil pizza has been whispering, "Come back" in my ear.
Dinner near a movie
Pizzeria Venti, across from Century Theaters, boasts delicious food and great ambiance.
From the Moutain View Voice. Original article here.
As a local real estate agent during the roaring 2000s, Bella Awdisho did well enough during the property bubble to pursue her wildest dreams. So without a shred of professional experience in the culinary arts, she decided to open a restaurant in a remote corner of Mountain View.
It was a romantic notion that, by any normal circumstances, should have failed. Her only background in the restaurant biz was as a customer and foodie who took occasional cooking classes until, while traveling in Italy, she met the American family behind the burgeoning Pizzeria Venti chain, and liked what she heard.
They prided themselves on cooking with only with the highest quality ingredients, including oil imported from Italy to make their pizza crust. But Awdisho wanted to go beyond pizza, and convinced the company to let her to modify the menu with a host of original pasta dishes, appetizers and salads.
Then came a pivotal choice. Rather than clustering with the other restaurants downtown on Castro Street, she set up shop across from the Century Theaters on Shoreline Boulevard — a relative no-man's land, except for one important neighbor: Google. Her gambit turned out to be a shrewd one, and before long lunchtime was hopping.
As for dinner, Pizzeria Venti's spacious room — with its burnt orange and tan hues, faux roman columns and ornate mirrors — makes it a wonderful and relaxing destination. And then there was the delicious food.
Kids will love the playfully named bocce balls ($8.50), an inventive appetizer consisting of three cue ball-sized meatballs baked in pizza crust and topped with marinara and melted cheese. The meatballs have the magic ratio of breadcrumbs/meat/egg, making them firm yet juicy. I would have preferred more seasoning, but the dish was fun nonetheless, with a crunchy finish.
After the tomato tang of the marinara, a caprice salad ($9.25), a mosaic of glistening greens, reds, blacks and whites, offered a refreshing contrast. A study in simplicity, the salad's sliced roma tomatoes, black olives and lettuce set up thinly sliced mozzarella and a piquant balsamic dressing. Our palettes were cleansed.
All starters were winners, but the minestrone ($5.75) was over the top. Its rich broth merely filled the gaps between an abundance of thick-sliced carrots, zucchini, celery, onion and broccoli, all cooked to retain a degree of crunchy firmness. Served with several slices of bread, the minestrone exuded freshness, and would work nicely as a light lunch on a cool day.
Pizzeria Venti proved to be much more than just a pizza place, but we couldn't visit without sampling a veggie slice ($4.75). More fitting to call it a slab, its thin crust was disproportionately layered with cheese oozing into a jumble of sliced black olives, green peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and Italian herbs. Each bite was stringy and decadent with an aftertaste of olive oil. You won't find better pizza in Mountain View.
We also tried the explosively flavorful linguini pescatore ($14.95). Served al dente, the pasta and light, mildly seasoned tomato sauce showcased shrimp, clams and mussels in the shell and bite-sized chunks of salmon and snapper.
In contrast to the loud and splashy linguini, pesto ravioli ($11.95) was understated and elegant. The dish is six large round raviolis stuffed with cheese and diced chives, and immersed in creamy pesto sauce featuring that irresistibly familiar nutty flavor. The color was a powerful mint green under the dim amber lighting.
Pizzeria Venti's lasagna ($10.75) was the most traditional pasta dish we tried. Served in a boat-shaped bowl, the dense, baked stack of flat noodles, marinara sauce and cheese was immersed in a deep red sauce, with only its upper extremity poking from the pool. Thoroughly drenched in sauce, the concoction was delicious.
Stuffed but determined to try a couple tempting desserts, we delved into the impressive gelato bar ($4.75 for two scoops). Thick, creamy and very sweet, the milky chocolate was a perfect foil for the tart blueberry. But the cannoli ($4.75) — the traditional Italian pastry that offsets sour ricotta and goat cheeses with sweet nuts, sugar and chocolate — had a shell that was far too hard.
Pizzeria Venti could have been a run-of-the-mill lunch joint for Google employees. Instead, it is a cut above — and the perfect place to round out dinner and a movie (or a concert) at Shoreline.
1390 Pear Ave., Mountain View
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday
9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Does water make a difference?
See what "Eat it, Atlanta" and our Friends at Food Network have to say about it.
The Food Network did an experiment to try to find out for sure – does the water used in pizza matter? Some people claim the NYC water is the reason why the pizza is so good up there, but I’m of the opinion that it’s a load of baloney. In my post on Pizzeria Venti, I stated my opinion on this matter, and the Executive Chef of Pizzeria Venti commented on the post with some interesting thoughts on why water from a specific area can be important. Check out the FN video here to see the surprising results.
Pizzeria Venti on YouTube
Little Italy in Little Ol' Prosser
Story by KEPR-TV. ©2007 KEPR-TV.
Click here to read the article.
PIZZA TO DIE FOR
Jan 17 '08
Great food, reasonable prices, "un-chain-like" atmosphere
The Bottom Line
If you like really good pizza, try this place.
Over the last year or so my wife and I have noticed a small pizza restaurant when we go to our favorite local Chinese eatery. We kept saying, "We need to try that place sometime." Last Saturday, we did try it. And found the best pizza we've eaten in years.
I want to thank the category lead, bruguru, for including this restaurant on Epinions for me.
Turns out that Pizzeria Venti is a small but expanding chain. As a general rule, I'm not overly fond of chains. Can't stand McDonald's, Burger King, Long John Silvers and most of the other prepared food giants. However, Pizzeria Venti is a quality first, not quantity first restaurant.
I can only speak for the Midland, Texas Pizzeria Venti. When my wife, brother-in-law, and I walked in the place last week, we all knew that we'd found "pizza heaven". Why? The aroma of the cooking pizza made us drool. But, of course, the taste of the pizza is the most important factor.
The restaurant showcases its pizzas and other menu items in a large case or you can order a specialty pizza. One particular pizza pie caught my eye for some reason. I asked what it was and was told that it was a Mediterranean pizza. My brother-in-law and I ordered one slice of that pizza and one slice of the pepperoni. We each paid $7 for the two slices. My wife had a gnocchi basilico for $7.50.
All of this food was ready to eat immediately. I was a little worried about the Mediterranean pizza because one of the main ingredients on it was feta cheese. I've had feta cheese that was so salty that I couldn't stand it. However, Pizzeria Venti serves a feta cheese that is mild. The pizza also contains onions, olives, cheese, tomato sauce, but the "star ingredient" is the feta. The slice is neither too thick nor too thin and is, in fact, crunchy. And delicious.
The pepperoni is excellent also. My wife was not overly fond of the gnocchi but helped us eat our slices. I was a little worried that two slices would not be enough me since I'm a big eater. I shared my "feta" slice and could barely finish the two slices.
The decor of the restaurant is not overly fancy but it certainly is an improvement over larger chains such as Pizza Hut. The place was spotlessly clean from the tables and floors to the restrooms.
Pizzeria Venti has quite an extensive menu with baked pasta (mostaccioli, cheese ravioli, manicotti, lasagna); salads (house, venti (chopped), chicken Caesar, field greens and apples, tuna and white bean); Timpanini (stuffed pizza pie), 13 types of pizza and three soups.
Each area of the menu has a special "Del Giorno" item which changes each day.
I am a bit partial to the music that was piped into the eating area as the local owner plays a number of his jazz CD's. However, the music is not overpowering and allows visitors to talk while they chow down.
We loved the pizza so much that we bought an entire Mediterranean pizza yesterday (Jan. 16, 2008). This pizza is loaded and cost us $23 which might sound like a lot. However, all three of us (same group as before) could only finish 2/3's of the pizza. An unlimited house salad came with the pizza. And, we have great leftover pizza.
Now, I have to add that the Midland restaurant owner came up with the Mediterranean in an unusual way and his is the only Pizzaria Venti that has the specialty so far. The pizza was created when a frequent customer said he wanted a Greek salad that he saw on his pizza. Voila! An instant hit. The local owner said he was going to tell the franchise owner about this pizza because it's such a hit.
The restaurant has the usual soft drinks and iced tea plus Italian and domestic Beer and Wine.
LOCAL RESIDENT BRINGS ITALY TO BLUFFTON
BLUFFTON- SC August 2, 2006
SIENA, ITALY - Local restaurateur, Frank Buda, owner of the Pizzeria Venti franchise in Bluffton, returned this pat week from a Culinary training course held in Tuscany. The course, open only to Pizzeria Venti Franchisees, included a cooking our of the Italian hill towns, a cheese making class in the small village of Radi and something Mr. Buda had not expected. “We were completing our cooking classes for the evening when our host, Marina Vanni, invited our entire class to join her and a few friends for a small celebration” The “few friends” turned out to be 300 people attending a private “Festa” honoring the horse and rider representing the group at the world famous PALIO horse race held twice a year in the beautiful Piazza del Campo, in the heart of one of Italy’s most magnificent cities. “We knew, the minute we entered the private courtyard, we were about to witness something only a few American get the chance to see” Buda said. “As we walked in, the place became very quite but after a wave from Marina, laughter and singing broke out and the most incredible food came to our table. It was straight out of a movie!” Buda continued. “I even brought home their flag!” It’s now hanging in the restaurant. “For the people of Siena, the PALIO is like the World Series and the Super Bowl rolled into one!” The night ended with a private tour of the Contrata di Pantera museum complete with ancient paintings and costumes dating back hundreds of years. To top off the trip, Mr. Buda, who along with his fellow Franchisees, made a Rosemary and Potato Frittata, Fresh tomato and olive Foccacia bread and a Pecorino and Salami antipasti to share while watching Italy defeat France for the World cup. Mr. Buda, who along with his wife Sherri, run the local establishment, put it this way, “I went to Italy to try to bring back to our customers, not only great food, but a little bit of Italy” and Buda said “I did!”
For more information about Pizzeria Venti or photos to compliment this release
Contact: Jan Carlson
Phone: 561-892-1554 Fax: 866-405-3360
AOL City Guide
"Could the divisive pie wars of Chicago pizzerias be coming to an end because a new king reigns at Pizzeria Venti…”
Pizzeria Venti --Grosse Pointe Park
"The Grosse Pointe Woods restaurant Pizzeria Venti is one of the new genre of chains..."
"Freshness, tasty toppings distinguish this pizza chain…"
"Ultimately, it turns out, metro Detroit did need another pizza chain. We have high hopes for this one…"
Business Scene: Pizzeria Venti joins
Midland's Italian restaurant community
A taste of Italy has come to Midland with the opening of PIZZERIA VENTI in San Miguel Square, 3300 N. Midkiff Road.
Joel Fink and his wife Laura purchased the local franchise rights from the Geneva, Ill.-based company.
Fink explained that he was looking for a restaurant venture, but also one that local residents hadn't seen before.
"This was the best pizza I had ever had," he said of the restaurant's product, which is based on a recipe from Montalcino, Italy. In fact, the Finks were not only required to spend a week in Italy for a training session before being given the franchise but they import some ingredients - including the water used to make the crust - from Italy.
Pizzeria Venti features a glass case displaying 20 different kinds of pizza, which are sold by the slice or by the whole pie. They include cheese, sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, roasted garlic, green pepper, tomato & basil, onion, Chicken Vesuvio, meatball and green pepper, broccoli and "everything. Also on the menu are stuffed pizzas known as timpanini, with beef and green peppers, steak and onion, southwestern chicken, spinach and ricotta cheese, vegetarian or chicken venti. Baked pastas include cheese and spinach ravioli, lasagna, mostaccioli, manicotti, and pasta gnocchi and salads include a house salad, chicken Caesar, field greens and apples, tuna and white bean. Soups are available October 1 through April 1 and include escarole with sausage, pasta fagiole and minestrone. Desserts, soft drinks, ice tea, espresso, cappuccino, coffee and milk and juice round out the menu.
Customers come in, place their order and then find a seat. Servers will bring the order to the table. Carry out is also available
Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
As featured in the on-line version of MyWestTexas.com.
Web Address: http://www.mywesttexas.com/site/news.cfm?brd=2288
FOOD NEWS BY DENISE I. O'NEAL
Buy the Slice
Pizzeria Venti has uncovered the secret to a good pizza. It's all in the water. The restaurant uses only pure water imported from northern Italy for its crust… the mineral content and lack of chlorine provides a light, fluffy quality. The pizzeria serves 20 varieties of its by-the-slice pizzas.
Food News, Chicago Sun-Times Food Section, 401 N. Wabash, Chicago 60611.
AOL City Guide
Americans are adventurous tasters, and for the same reason that Spain's tapas
filled a dining void in the United States, Pizzeria Venti offers the authentic
Italian tradition of pizza-by-the-slice. Who hasn't had to compromise on pizza
toppings when a group or family decides to sup on pie? Peer into the
bakery-style glass cabinets to choose from a range of toppings such as meatball
and green pepper, chicken Vesuvio, roasted garlic, tomato and basil, or the
familiar sausage, pepperoni or cheese. If one of the 20 or so varieties ("venti"
translates to 20) don't float your gondola, there's baked pasta, salads, soup
and a stuffed affair called a timpanini. With a majority of choices costing
between $2.50 and $5.00, this brilliant gambit pays off for hungry locals as
well as folks visiting Geneva's picturesque streets and shops. -- Jacky Runice
Italian, Pasta, Pizza
Pizzeria Venti was once again featured in a dining review. This time our signature food stylings appeared in West Suburban Living Magazine in the article entitled, "Pizzeria Venti...Pizza with Pizzazz!"
BY DAVID SHAROS - Daily Herald Correspondent
Posted August 28, 2003
In the play "The Glass Menagerie," author Tennessee Williams wrote a scene where
Jim O'Connor, the gentleman caller, refers to Laura, a girl he knew in high
school, as "blue roses." Readers understand the author wanted to express how
unique Laura was among all the other girls in her class.
Pizza restaurants these days are one times one million, as the playwright
Williams might say. But in Geneva, Pizzeria Venti is a blue rose.
The owner opened the venue eight months ago after tinkering for months
with an authentic Italian pizza recipe that uses flour and tomatoes imported from
Italy. Despite baking it on a stone and finding it tasty, the persnickety
owner still felt something wasn't right.
"We finally realized it was the water we were using to make the dough, so now we
import pallets of it from Tuscany every month," he said.
"There's an incredible lightness to the dough you won't find anywhere else, and
using that water has made all the difference."
Located on Main Street in downtown Geneva, Pizzeria Venti is the perfect spot for
a quick carryout lunch or a simple evening meal. A small cluster of tables found
just inside the entrance is flanked by a counter along a side wall with bar
stools. The high walls are decorated with a few pictures, adding to a simple, yet
Diners walk to the rear where a glass case displays a number of menu items and
orders are placed. Cans of imported Italian tomatoes are on display and prices on
the menu board read "4 ¨ bucks." All dishes are made to order, with a little head
start on the pizzas. More about that later.
We visited during the dinner hour, about 40 minutes before closing. Our hosts
acted like we were the first people they had seen that day.
Since the menu lacks appetizers, we ordered two of the pizzas, two salads and a
pasta dish, plus drinks. After paying the bill, my two dining companions and I
found a seat and waited to be served.
The salads came first and the three of us shared one called field greens and
apples, which featured a tender leafy lettuce, dried cranberries, blue cheese,
tomato and red onion slices, walnuts, and slices of crisp Granny Smith apples.
The salad was bathed in the house dressing, a yummy Vidalia onion vinaigrette,
which worked wonderfully with the fruit and cheese. It would have made a nice
light lunch all by itself.
We also had a refreshing summer strawberry salad not found on the menu.
It featured the same leafy lettuce, slices of ripe strawberries, Spanish peanuts,
star fruit and the same house dressing. Every food category on the Venti menu
includes a "del giorno" option, which we figured out meant "the special." Since
strawberries are still available, we gathered this salad was the current flavor
of the week. And it was tasty.
The pizzas and pasta were next. We ordered a cheese and spinach ravioli, which,
like the salads, was served on a silver rectangular platter with a handle. A
piping hot plate of spinach pasta dough (yep, it was green) was wrapped around
more spinach and cheese, and smothered with a chunky style tomato sauce and a
generous portion of melted cheese. Two little rolls made from the signature pizza
dough accompanied the dish.
The pasta was a little softer than most, al dente wouldn't describe it , but
there was a savory quality to the cheese, spinach and tomato mixture that worked
well together. It might be fun to give some other pasta dishes, like the lasagna
or pesto gnocchi, a try to see how they compare.
The owner told us the pizza and timpanini were the signature dishes of the house,
and we can sure see why. One of my companions ordered the "everything" pizza that included sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers and onion. I went with a choice more outside the box, even for me: the chicken vesuvio, which did not include potatoes, but had chunks of chicken, mushrooms, olives and cheese.
Pizzeria Venti pre-bakes its yummy crust partially before customizing it with the
toppings. The restaurant's name, "Venti," refers in Italian to the number 20, the
minimum number of pizzas available there each day.
Think of a light croissant with about twice the bulk, and you might come close to
the pizza crust the owner has brought here from Italy. Both the vesuvio and the
everything pizzas featured a light coating of tomato sauce and covering of
cheese. Toppings were like any other veggies we've had a million times, but as
our server told us, the crust at Pizzeria Venti provides more than just the
foundation for the ingredients. The whole thing works magically, and we all
agreed this place deserved a second visit.
Desserts change weekly and vary according to the season. My two companions split a cannoli, which was finished with walnuts instead of the signature pistachios.
Walnuts can be a bit bitter, but the nuts on this Italian dessert weren't.
Blue roses aren't ingenious to any species of flower, and neither is Pizzeria
Venti to others in its class. Evidently there's something in that imported
Italian water after all.
• Entrees under $10 is an occasional review that features a restaurant at which
most entrees cost $10 or less. Reviews are based on one anonymous visit. Our aim is to describe the overall dining experience while guiding the reader toward the menu's strengths. The Herald does not publish reviews of restaurants it
127 W. State St., Geneva, (630) 262-1020
Pizza, pasta, salads, soups
Very casual, limited seating
Pizzas $2.50 to $3.50 per slice full pans $10.50 to $14; baked pastas $4.50 to
$5; timpanini (stuffed pizzas) $3.50 each; salads $3.50 to $5; desserts $3.50 to
$4; no appetizers
11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday;
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
Major credit cards
Catering and parties available