At Scorpio's, adept culinary artists handcraft robust pizzas, saucy pastas, and savory entrees from zesty spices, an array of organic ingredients, and signature family recipes. Hand-tossed pizzas are made to order with a choice of toppings, such as roasted garlic, artichoke hearts, and house-made meatballs, whirling from piping hot ovens to fill plates with cheesy slices of Sicilian-style pie ($13.99+). Or, opt for one of the restaurant's specialty selections, such as an onion- and mozzarella-slathered barbecue chicken pizza ($13.99 for a large) or the self-named Scorpio, which combines pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, green peppers, onions ($14.99 for a large), and an affinity for long walks on the beach into one hard-to-resist dish.
Head chef Casey D'Arconte, educated in the culinary arts by chefs in Holland, France, and the New England Culinary Institute, elevates morning fare to new heights with his distinctive take on diner classics. Start off with an ultimate breakfast platter, which arrives with three eggs, two pancakes, choice of sausage, ham, or bacon, and ending with potatoes and toast. Four renditions of the traditional eggs Benedict strut across tables, including the Florentine, which comes topped with sautéed fresh baby spinach. The Bananas Foster stuffed french toast is stuffed with cream cheese and topped with a banana brown sugar sauce and creates flavor explosions inside mouths at at all times of the day.
The McMahon clan doesn't just advocate family time; they live and breathe it every day at McMahon's Countryside Grille. Owned by Mom and Dad, the kids also chip in at the eatery, a fact applauded by Wicked Local. The menu's house-made comfort food, steak, and seafood dishes welcome clans coming together to break bread or draft the new family crest. The homemade meatloaf hails directly from the McMahon's own dinner table, and is a perfect precursor to the Bliss ice cream served at an outdoor window near picnic tables.
Indoors, weekly entertainment sets the restaurant abuzz, from live local musicians and comedians on the weekends to open-mic Thursdays, when amateur funnymen test their chops and skill for fending off flying tomatoes. Each Tuesday, contestants crowd into cozy maroon booths around wooden tables and answer quick-fire trivia questions.
Garbed in crisp white jackets, chefs in the Apna Punjab dart among pans of simmering curries and pots of bubbling biryani rice as nimbly as dancers, their faces aglow in the open flames. They fold fresh meats and seafood into a sweeping array of authentic North and South Indian dishes, from tender butter chicken to flavorful goat curry. In a fiery clay oven, the chefs bake lamb kebabs, tandoori shrimp, and naan breads stuffed with minced lamb and fresh green chilies. One of the most popular dishes—chicken tikka masala—was lauded by reporters from India New England as "distinct and rich."
To enjoy those dishes, customers perch on cushy green booths, clinking mugs of imported Indian beers. Others linger over last bites of sweet rice pudding, watching the sun set through lofty yellow-curtained windows. During lunch, 15 freshly made specialties pour forth steam at a lunch buffet, ideal for diners who need to rush back to work or hurry home to see if their long-lost childhood parakeet has at last returned.
The aroma of simmering beef and baking bread wafts out of Spike’s Junkyard Dogs’ kitchen all day, as chefs sandwich 100% all-beef hot dogs into warm, soft french rolls. Beef links are decorated with banana peppers, barbecue sauce, baked beans, and other hearty toppings that test hand strength like a shadow-puppet performance of Hamlet. Customers can indulge in towering burgers and sauce-slathered dogs or opt for a more wholesome feast by ordering low-fat veggie dogs or burgers and curly fries dunked in cholesterol-free canola oil.
Native North Enders Vinnie Amato and Steve Costa opened Cafe Porto Bello to revisit the Italian cuisine of their childhoods and re-create the atmosphere of dinners with family. For more than a decade, the café's chefs have prioritized freshness by preparing every dish to order with spices blended in-house and by garnishing gourmet, hand-tossed pizzas with their own roasted red peppers. The dining room is warm and softly lit, with sturdy wooden tables and seating for up to 100. In the adjacent lounge, bartenders pour Italian and American varietals in syncopation or ragtime with live jazz sets.
Though its name evokes Italian cuisine, Cafe Romano supplements its Italian bites with American diner classics. Old-country entrees such as frittatas or a dish of eggs, red bliss potatoes, and meat share space on the breakfast menu with American-style hash browns and eggs. At lunch, diners can dig into housemade lasagna or pastrami sandwiches.