Light streams in from floor-to-ceiling windows inside Fire + Spice, pouring over cozy leather chairs, curved booths, and a sleek wooden bar. But the interior of this comfortable yet upscale restaurant isn’t the only picturesque element in the place. Southwestern fare, inspired by Mexican spices, is painstakingly prepared and arranged into edible works of art, much like Picasso’s canvases during his stew period. Notable menu items include chipotle chicken enchiladas, shrimp tacos, and Alamosa striped bass with crispy yucca root.
Established as a haven for steak lovers in 1958, Emil-Lene's grillmasters have crafted a menu of upscale filets and American cuisine served with a bevvy of trimmings. Meaty choices include 5-, 9-, and 12-ounce filets, as well as three sizes of sirloin as tender as a butterfly's fragile ego. Chefs fry chicken dinners to crisp completeness, while 10-ounce prime ribs are seared to perfection atop a charcoal grill. Along with the menu's simplified offerings, servers whisk trays of vegetables and spaghetti appetizers to tables, with chilled butter spreading across fresh-baked bread, and soup or salad and a choice of potato tucking themselves into the last crevices of each stomach. The restaurant keeps in touch with its historic roots and cowboy ambiance, with Wild West artwork, a cozy dining room, and regular duels between visiting handlebar mustaches.
Caribbean Breeze sends forth bursts of flavor with its menu of Latin- and Caribbean-inspired meals. Inside the well-lit eatery, chefs prepare shrimp three ways: breaded in coconut, swimming in a champagne cream sauce, or wrapped in bacon and cheese. Salmon and tilapia filets evoke more delicate flavors straight from the grill. The kitchen also concocts Mexican classics such as carne asada, which is served with deep fried jalapenos alongside rice and beans.
Before they bake over mesquite charcoal in a specially designed tandoor oven, the specialties at India?s Cuisine marinate in a mixture of garlic, ginger, herbs, and spices. Coupled together, the marinating and baking processes yield tasty kebobs and tender meats chockfull of classic Indian flavor. The remaining menu features nine specialties?from zesty curries to creamy saags?into which chefs stir chicken, lamb, fish, or shrimp. For vegetarians, the culinary team crafts more than 15 entrees, including house-made paneer smothered in tomato sauce and potatoes cooked with green peas and spices. To accompany meals, India?s Cuisine serves up favorites such as mango lassis and naan stuffed with three-cheese blends.
At Salento Restaurant, his second BYOB venture, chef Davide Faenza draws on his roots in the region of Puglia, on the heel of the Italian boot, to fill a menu of authentic Italian fare. Home to “some of the finest raw ingredients in Italy,” according to a 2007 Philadelphia Weekly review, Puglia is known for its fresh seafood and simple pasta dishes. At Salento, servers carry in homemade gnocchi, sautéed fish filets, and other entrees that do justice to this tradition. After popping the last golden raisin from a balsamic-glazed chicken breast, guests can admire the dining room's glowing chandeliers, blue velvet curtains, and enormous mirror reflecting hungry pizza-delivery boys peeking in the front windows.
The three chefs at Chai & Chai bring their knowledge of Indian, Thai, and Jordanian cuisines to the proverbial—and literal—table, merging them on an eclectic menu with dishes as colorful as the countries they hail from. Inside the experimental kitchen, chefs explore unusual recipes and serve them in an informal, home-style setting.The unique Indian dinner menu include authentic recipes culled from family traditions. Mom's Classic Monsoon Plate delights with a simple arrangement of omelet, sambar, pickle, and yogurt rice while veg and non-veg plates sate communal appetites. Dum Biryani meals for two include sides of mirchi ki salan and raita. Chai & Chai's Jordanian chef also crafts dishes such as mansaf, a traditional lamb dish served over rice or bulgur, and fatteh makdous, an eggplant-and-lamb casserole.