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.
Sakura embraces the gustatory traditions of Japanese and Chinese cuisine by forging an eclectic menu with vibrant sushi, sizzling hibachi items, and classic Chinese dishes. The hibachi chefs combine showmanship, culinary skill, and fire-safety lectures as they dexterously shuffle chicken, steak, or seafood across a grill erupting with flames, creating toothsome entrees directly in front of their hungry spectators. Meanwhile, kitchen staffers drape double-cooked pork with a spicy hoisin sauce, and sushi-smiths artfully slice fresh, fire-retardant fish for each order of sashimi and roll maki in a cylinder of rice and seaweed.
Within the dining room, crimson walls sport such personalized decorative accents as a stenciling of the restaurant's name and a finger-painting of its business license.
Drawing on the zesty flavors of Portugal and Spain, cooks at Sangria's Tapas and Wine Restaurant craft an eclectic selection of shareable small plates. Here, tapas range from peppadews filled with goat cheese and shrimp steamed in Old Bay seasoning to gluten-free helpings of pork belly piled atop grilled oranges. Entrees include dishes such as classic paella and braised rabbit simmering in white wine and bacon sauce.
To complement feasts, bartenders pour red and white wines from the U.S. and abroad, as well as mix plenty of classic cocktails and martinis. Then, of course, there are 10 blends of Sangria?s namesake made in-house every day, including the Portuguese Passion, a medley of riesling, champagne, and passionfruit vodka. Served amid intimate lighting and exposed brick, meals unfold as live musicians perform and flat-screen TVs broadcast the latest stateside sports and parliamentary rugby matches.