Born and raised in France, chef Cedric S. Fichepain carried his family recipes and passion for traditional French fare across the pond in 1997. Four years later, Cedric cut the ribbon at Le Voltaire Restaurant, which serves up classics such as croque madame sandwiches and coq au vin stewed in white wine. The cellar's 1,000-bottle inventory of French wines has earned the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence eight years in a row, and the eatery was also recognized as one of the city's best French dining experiences in _Omaha Magazine'_s Best of Omaha 2012. The restaurant's lemon-yellow walls and rough-hewn wooden door create a rustic feel, and beneath a unique glass bar top is a display of carefully arranged dried flowers.
Chef Erasmo "Razz" Kamnitzer, namesake of Razz's Restaurant and Bar and seventh-generation chef, infuses flavors from his native Venezuela to his eatery's upscale fusion menu. Like all dinner-theater performers, Razz dazzles diners with stovetop pyrotechnics in his open show kitchen, simmering up spicy bouillabaisse full of shellfish and finfish, or ladling chops and fillets with lime sauce, tropical-fruit relish, lingonberry sauce, and other zesty flavors. Guests can pair savory bites with sips from the wine list, with selections available by the glass, bottle, or fluted barrel. Razz's also caters special events such as weddings and holiday parties.
Whipping up delectable dishes that douse the fiery appetites of any appetite resembling that of a grizzly on fire, Black Bear Diner has served as a favorite eating abode of satisfied patrons since 1995. Homestyle eats are paired with top-notch service to provide an enjoyable dining destination that has spawned nearly 30 Black Bear locations nationwide. Large portions are offered on mountainous lunch and dinner menus full of tantalizing, smile-inducing flavors. Try the tri-tip dip sandwich with grilled onions, mushrooms, and swiss cheese ($9.99), the wild Pacific salmon filet with lemon-butter sauce ($13.99), or the old-fashioned meatloaf ($11.99), all of which will give your taste buds something to write home about besides their usual sappy drivel about their girlfriends, your teeth. Additionally, an impressive breakfast menu showcasing items such as the huge Bigfoot chicken-fried steak and eggs ($11.29) is offered all day, ensuring a solid meal for later risers and recovery-dodging egg addicts.
At JP Pancake, the chefs are specialists in breakfast, lunch, and most importantly—as the name might imply—pancakes. Touted as their house specialty, oven-baked pancakes arrive freshly baked in fluffy, golden packages, topped with fruits such as apples, bananas, or blueberries, and finished off with cinnamon sugar. Buttermilk pancakes also boast chocolate chips, strawberries, and nuts and can be slipped under the door to feed a pet tiger that’s acting a bit too grumpy. Malted belgian waffles can also be prepared gluten free and enjoyed alongside french toast and omelets. At the Scottsdale location, grilled sandwiches—such as triple grilled cheese, green-chili chicken, and BLT—pair well with tacos and hot dogs to please the lunch crowd.
In 1983 Nord Brue and Mike Dressell decided that it didn't matter how far Burlington, Vermont was from New York City; no distance was too great to limit their access to New York-style bagels. So they spent 2.5 years apprenticing with a professional bagel baker from the city until they mastered the technique. Once they were comfortable with their skills and had accepted that it doesn't actually hurt the bagel to bite it, they opened their first Bruegger's Bagels, a casual bakery and café. Today, they have more than 300 eateries across the United States and Canada, each hawking freshly baked bagels, cream cheeses, sandwiches, coffee, and desserts.
For owners Sal and Dina Zappone, their eponymous Italian eatery is a dream come true. The newly renovated dining room is rife with modern accents such as earthen clay tiles, solar-powered silverware, and hanging lights like glowing red roses. It’s also a family establishment through and through. While Sal helms the kitchen, garnishing homemade pastas with fresh ricotta, and loading pizzas with fresh fennel sausage and truffle oil, his young son and daughter can often be found in small aprons, advertising their favorite dishes. Diners may also pair meals with an espresso or a light Morellino wine, which offers a fruity nose easier than sticking grapes in your nostrils.