So we dropped the parents off at Cru for the tasting menu with wine pairings (my anniversary present to them) and my sister and I walked down to Arturo's, as it seemed to edge out John's among responses. It was 7:45 last night, and we were seated instantly. The waiter was busy but very courteous. We split the penne alla vodka (her choice), which was adequate, and waited expectantly for the meatball pizza.
The pizza was fantastic. The crust was crispy on the bottom, browned but not burnt. A bite would start out with a crunch as the bottom of the slice was broken, and then give way to pleasantly chewy interior and just the right amount of very tasty sauce and cheese, with a beefy kick from the meatballs to end up. The edge of the crust was delicious as well, and was nearly all CRUNCH with just a hint of yeasty, bready goodness in the middle.
The bill came to $42 w/o tip, for the penne, pizza, and four soft drinks. I know, pizza without beer is like a bowling ball without a liquid center, but not tonight.
On a recommendation not from this board (I know, mea culpa) we then walked down Houston to Emack & Bolio's ice cream shop. When the incredibly obnoxious couple in front of us was finished being horrible to the sweet lady behind the counter, my sister ordered the cake batter ice cream and I, feeling seasonal, ordered pumpkin ice cream. Sister said the cake batter was great, and inhaled the whole cup before I finished half of mine. The pumpkin was creamy and delicious, with a hint of cinnamon and spice. Highly recommended.
All in all, Im not sure who had a more enjoyable dining experience: my parents with the tasting and wine pairings at Cru, or we kids at Arturos and E&B.
Thanks for your help, Hounds!