Best Corner Italian Restaurant Phoenix 2008 - Pizza A Metro
This category doesn't literally have to mean an Italian restaurant that's on a corner, but in the case of Pizza A Metro, it's exactly that: nestled alongside a Circle K in a tiny corner strip. Really, it's an unlikely location for such a cool restaurant; walking through the door into this 20-seat spot is a revelation. One whole wall is painted with a mellow coastal scene, and you can see right into the kitchen, where meter-long pizzas (hence the name, which means "pizza by the meter") are baked in a wood-fired oven. Owner Maurizio Benforte, who often mans the dining room single-handedly, is as gracious as they come, while the homey Italian food is delicious. Besides pizzas, there are several notable starters (including tender grilled calamari), a handful of secondi, and a long list of pastas. We're partial to the homemade gnocchi with pink vodka sauce, and fresh ravioli with Bolognese. As if that weren't enough to make us smile, there's crisp, cream-filled cannoli and homemade tiramisu for dessert. Considering how reasonably priced this place is, we're always up for a splurge.