In the midst of successful careers in the corporate and educational realms, the head chef of Picasso's Cafe, Vincent DeRosa, and his wife Maria decided to make use of their artistic leanings by opening a sustainable-focused café and catering business. The same creative side that fueled Chef DeRosa's training as a classical pianist inspired him to craft a menu evocative of Picasso's vibrant masterpieces alongside executive chef and lifelong culinary virtuoso Paul Vigil. With help from a professionally trained staff and singing appliances, the culinary duo delivers a colorful, creative menu flanked by a veritable trophy room of awards and press.
As early as 7 a.m., diners can greet the day with a selection of fresh baked goods and full breakfast dishes, which range from light meals of coffee, a muffin, and granola-topped yogurt to salsa-tinged breakfast wraps stuffed with eggs, bacon, and potatoes. As the hours wear on, the encyclopedic lunch menu comes into play: salads, paninis, wraps, and towering sandwiches share table space with such pasta dishes as seven-cheese tortellini bathed in a marinara-alfredo sauce. But where Picasso's Café shines brightest may be in its catering menu. With more than two decades of experience catering for events of all sizes, the catering staff can create anything from modest boxed lunches to full-scale wedding feasts. They'll also recommend the ideal location for the event, whether it's at one of the many historic estates, museums, or other venues that call them a preferred caterer, or at their own handsome location crafted with eco-friendly principles.
From the bounty of farmers'-market produce, sustainable seafood, and hormone-free meat flecking Picasso's menu to the patio's local flora and recycled building materials, the café lives in harmony with its surrounding land. Patio diners sample light fare amid recycled-steel and recycled-wood structures and inhale the scents of lush flowers, citrus trees, and free-range wait staff. Internal features, including plug-in vehicle ports, compostable dishware, and evaporation-powered air conditioners, join low-usage generators at professionally catered events. When not acting as steward of the environment, the staff at Picasso's joins City of Hope and Children's Miracle Network in the fight against cancer and lends far-reaching relief with its own PAINT program.
After a course at Village Kitchen, accomplished chefs will inch closer to pro status, while those who've chopped more fingers than potatoes will have their clumsiness exorcised thanks to patient instruction from Village Kitchen's enlightened gurus of all things edible. Classes are held Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. (some classes are also offered on Wednesdays at 6 p.m.), while the theme varies from week to week. On Wednesday, February 2, learn to master the wok to easily turn out incredible delights such as Szechuan stir-fried green beans with ground pork. On Wednesday, March 9, discover the joys of pollotarianism with a complete tutorial in a four-course feast centered around a fennel pollen roast chicken with tarragon jus, or on Saturday, April 9, craft the perfect dessert including glazed lemon cake, custard éclair rings, or fudge pecan pie. You'll eat everything you make and get a beverage, so no one escapes hungry. Classes are limited to 18 people.
Ranked the No. 1 Submarine Sandwich Franchise in the 2011 Franchise 500 issue of Entrepreneur magazine, Subway has graced the globe with nutritious stacks of meat, crisp veggies, flavorful cheeses, and freshly baked breads since 1965. Sandwiches, including the classic big philly cheesesteak (6", $4.75), can be left out in the cold or invited into a toaster, and the $5 foot-long subs are useful for measuring a child's height in cold-cut combos or the distance between the Earth and the sun in meatball marinara. There are also kids' meals to introduce children to the concept of eating. This eatery also opens for bountiful breakfast sandwiches served alongside cups of Seattle’s Best Coffee ($1.60 for 16 oz.).
Festooned in red and green and warmed by heat lamps, The Great Onion cultivates a festive atmosphere on its covered patio that is only elevated by the sizzling dishes served to smiling patrons anxious to dive into the fresh food. To customize their dining experience, patrons can build their own combo, which may include enchiladas, hard or soft tacos, or taquitos and is always served with rice, beans, and guacamole. The chefs specialize in seafood dishes and also whip up specialties such as steak fajitas or chicken molcajete and the aptly named Great Onion Delight burrito, stuffed with steak picado and chile rellenos and served wet with red or green salsa. And to keep the festive atmosphere going, The Great Onion offers a happy hour everyday and a lunch buffet that entices large groups to come in for a meal and stay for a group hug.
Growing up, summer in Chicago meant one thing to Joe: barbecue. Members of his extended family spent the season gathered around the grill, slow-smoking meats as they vied for pitmaster status. Joe draws on their perfected recipes at Ribs To Spare, which specializes in combination platters of smoked meats such as pork ribs, beef ribs, chicken, and tri-tip steak. Sides such as potato salad and collard greens complement each saucy plate, and desserts such as sweet-potato pie and peach cobbler bring meals to a rich close.
In addition to takeout, Ribs To Spare caters celebrations with personalized feasts ranging from barbecue buffets to prix fixe dinners. With his mobile smoker trailer in tow, Joe has previously organized meals for Warner Bros., Disney, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
When Lois Margolet first opened Capriotti’s in Wilmington, Delaware, 36 years ago, she and her brother, Alan, worked from the second story of a boarded-up building, roasting 10–12 whole turkeys every night and churning out a “real turkey lover’s” sandwich each day. Today, Capriotti’s has expanded across 12 states, each location stacking the same award-winning hot and cold sandwiches, racking up such accolades as The Best of Las Vegas 2012, Best of Culver City 2012, and Best of Delaware 2012 prizes from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Culver City News, and Delaware Today, respectively. Though the shop is still known for its slow-roasted-turkey creations—such as the Thanksgiving-inspired Bobbie, named America's best sandwich by AOL's Lemondrop.com, piled with cranberry sauce and stuffing—its menu now ventures into the realm of roast beef, italian deli meats with such sandwiches as the capastrami, cheesesteaks, and vegetarian treats, such as meatless chicken and turkey.