By Alison Neri
Anthony and Michael Casanova receive rave reviews for their New York-style pizza at their eponymous restaurant near Val Vista and Guadalupe roads in Gilbert.
All it took was a little hard work.
“We’re married to the business,” Anthony says with a laugh. “We sleep at the store. You know, it’s all good.”
Though the energetic and playful brothers are traditionalists and enjoy a slice of cheese pizza, they have an extensive menu.
Appetizers are standard, with fried zucchini, mozzarella sticks, garlic knots, garlic bread, jumbo wings, boneless wings and French fries, ranging in price from $2.25 to $12.99.
Their white pizza may not be what you think of when you crave pizza, but it soon will be. They offer Neapolitan ($12.99 to $16.99) and Sicilian-style pizzas ($18.99 to $23.99), so there is something for everyone.
Casanova Brothers Pizza, which opened in 2008, is well known for its pies, and rightfully so. They also entice guests with their classic dishes like chicken parmigiana ($16.99) and linguini with clam sauce ($14.99).
Overstuffed calzones ($9.99 to $15.99), crisp salads ($5.50 to $10.50) and fresh subs ($6.99 to $9.99) round out the menu.
The surroundings are just as memorable as the entrees. Doric columns, stone and brick provide the atmosphere, while The Dell Vikings’ “Come Go with Me” is piped in overhead. Guests admire photos of the greats like Marlon Brando, Elvis and Bette Davis. Some of the pictures are even autographed.
The Casanovas mingle with guests, many of whom they know by name. They don’t hold back on the jokes and make everyone feel they’re a part of their Italian family.
Anthony and Michael worked in retail for 20 years in Westchester, New York, prior to moving to Arizona. In 1997, they were ready for a change and moved to Gilbert. A friend in real estate reached out to Michael and shared that a small pizza shop he frequented was on the market. The two decided to share their love for New York in the Valley.
“We created a piece of New York here,” Anthony says. “It’s very therapeutic. It’s like we never left home.”
Their love of Casanova Brothers Pizza goes further.
“There are a lot of favorite parts of being in this business, the most important part though is the connection we have with our customers and the relationships we develop with people, which are long lasting,” Anthony says.
“Between the music and the great food, we feel very privileged and have tremendous gratitude and appreciation for what we do. We don’t ever take anything for granted.”
Casanova Brothers Pizza, 959 N. Val Vista Drive Gilbert, 480.539.6200, casanovabrospizza.com.
For more restaurant highlights in the Valley, visit our attractions page.