Before diners place their orders at Thai D'or waiters will often inquire, "Can you handle spicy food?" True to Thai culinary techniques, many of its dishes brim with fiery spices and chili-infused sauces, but chefs are eager to adjust spice content to suit each individual palate. Named for the French word for gold, the Thai restaurant lives up to its title with its fresh, authentically prepared curries, noodles, and specialties and its commitment to cultural traditions of hospitality. Servers bear blended cocktails and simmering meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes into the dining room, where guests recline on cushy leather chairs beneath the glow of red lanterns. Eastern decor adorns the wall, and water trickles down from stone mosaics. The restaurant opens its function room to private parties, designing customized menus for family gatherings, business meetings, and kindergarten graduations.
The coffee-drinking cultures of Seattle and Old World Europe intertwine at The Wired Monk. Baristas swirl steamed milk into organic, fair-trade coffee drinks, which guests sip beside hand-painted art and a roaring fireplace. Meanwhile, the scent of cinnamon rolls wafts from the bakery case, past aromatic tea leaves by Zhena Gypsy and Mighty Leaf. Red espresso, a roobois tea from the mountains of South Africa, fills caffeine-free lattes with flavours as bold and smooth as a saxophone’s pick-up lines. Healthy treats such as fruit smoothies and gluten-free muffins round out the menu with a touch of sweetness. The sound of tapping toes fills the shop on Thursday nights, when artists such as Harma White and Vaughan McKay flaunt their rock ’n’ roll chops. Large-screen TVs draw sports fans to the couches on game days, and drink specials lure wine lovers on Wednesday nights.
Diners at Station House Pub & Grill feast on sandwiches, grill-kissed steaks and burgers, and other hearty fare in a friendly, casual setting. Ten ounces of slow-roasted prime rib arrives at tables, carved by hand and accompanied by au jus ($19), and sirloin ($13 for 6 oz.; $15 for 8 oz.) and peppercorn steak dinners ($16) dress up in garnishes, homemade sauce, and their mothers’ pearls. Salads give customers a taste of the way ancient civilizations opened meals with greek ($12) and Caesar ($9) greens, and seven sandwiches vie for the title of most-filling meal in options such as the triple-decker club ($9) and the high-piled philly cheese steak ($10). For dessert, Station House chefs immerse Mars Bars and ice cream balls in batter for deep-fried goodness ($6 each). Guests can also drink in the ambience of the restaurant’s heated outdoor patio, the roar of sports scores from the restaurant’s televisions, and news from its pony express courier.
Mario Facchin embraced his passion for food by dedicating 40 years of his life to the restaurant industry. Now joined by his son David, Mario applies this same passion to The Rendezvous and its menu of Greek- and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Souvlaki, moussaka, and spanakopita can emerge from the kitchen along with familiar Italian dishes, including pizzas and oven-baked pastas. The cooks lend the entrees a homespun twist by making béchamel, lemon-dill, and mushroom sauces in-house and by taking zillions of pictures of every souvlaki's first grill marks.
Wigley's regales crowds with an eclectic mix of gourmet dishes and contemporary bar fare served alongside an extensive selection of wines and cold beers. Diners can summon edible comfort with the ribs and chicken platter ($18.99), a slow-roasted duet of charbroiled chicken breast and baby-back ribs glowing with the bloom of youth and a barbecue or honey-garlic glaze. Guests with piquant palates can dive into a bowl of spicy Cajun jambalaya abounding with chorizo sausage and succulent prawns ($13.99). Afterward, a frosty pint of beer ($3.99–$6.50) can nurse fiery taste buds and read them a bedtime story. While an army of televisions broadcasts sports games or a live band serenades conga lines, patrons can sidle up to Wigley's bar and fuel up with bar-menu offerings such as calamari ($8.99) and spicy, cheese-covered ranchero chips ($11.99).
Champions of adhering to traditional recipes and culinary practices, a father-and-son team serves as both the owners and head chefs of New Passage to India. Their kitchen staff whips up dishes native to a variety of Indian regions, granting diners a taste of the subcontinent without the paper cuts that come from eating maps. They handcraft ingredients such as house-made paneer cheese, garden-fresh mushrooms, and fresh lamb with pinches of hand-ground spices. Sensitive to varied tolerances of piquancy, the chefs customize the heat levels of many of their creations to individual preferences. Affable servers wend from table to table within the dining room’s deep-green walls and wooden columns.