Entertaining guests is just as important as feeding them at Kazoku Japanese Steak House. Weekly musical acts take the stage, and karaoke nights enable patrons to showcase their singing chops. A back room is dedicated to pool tables, and other classic bar games at the eatery include darts and corn hole toss. Even the meals encompass an entertainment aspect, with hibachi chefs dicing and flipping shrimp, steak, and chicken on the grills mere feet from diners. Sushi chefs pile up to 50 pieces of sashimi, nigiri, and maki rolls onto decorative wooden ships for a fun-filled sushi feast.
The chefs at Thee Olde Place Inn integrate western European influences in a menu of fresh American cuisine served in a convivial setting. Beneath a vaulted ceiling decorated like the night sky, calm stomach insurgencies with a flame-broiled 8-ounce prime filet mignon ($29.95) or the chicken chevre, with sautéed chicken breast, vegetables, and garlic sandwiched between rice pilaf and a goat-cheese bonnet ($18.95). Commemorate another long day wandering the ocean floor by noshing on pan-seared scallops florentine limone, tucked into a leafy mix of spinach and artichoke hearts ($19.95), or enjoy jumbo lump crab cakes ($19.95), free of typical fillers such as crushed saltines or crumpled Oscars speeches.
Altman's Tavern sates cavernous appetites while quelling cravings for hospitality in a family-friendly atmosphere. Begin a stroll down the dinner menu with a plate of chicken picata, in which roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts mingle in a lemon caper sauce ($14.95), or dash straight to the baked stuffed sole, featuring a special crabmeat served over lobster sauce ($16.95). Lunching stomachs can serve as a pond for a jumbo fish sandwich to splash in, with 10 ounces of lightly breaded fillet bathed in tartar sauce ($8.95). Diners can fuel digestion and discuss which obscure Soviet Premier to name their pet lobster after with a selection from Altman's domestic and imported bottles and drafts.
The McGinnis Sisters specialty stores are run by the coincidentally named McGinnis sisters. This is a truly familial enterprise, founded by their mother and father in 1946. The daughters expanded the store's selection and gravitational pull throughout the years while still retaining the literal mom 'n' pop attention to detail and quality. Fresh and local products dominate the shelves in each of the cozy markets. Chicken and pork fill meat cases, while recently reeled catches grace the icy displays at the seafood counter. You'll find quality deli meats and even freshly prepared lunch sandwiches ($4.99–$5.99) at the in-house delicatessen. Follow your whiskers to sniff out locally acquired cheese or daily-made bakery sensations.
Gianna Via's Restaurant & Bar?s stone oven cooks thin-crust pizzas to a crisp finish. It melts a blanket of cheese over a customizable blend of ingredients, including spinach, grilled chicken, and pepperoni. And with a name like Gianna Via?s, it?s no surprise that Italy?s cuisine looms large over the entire menu. Chefs bake chicken parmesan and toss toasted pine nuts and a garlic-herb sauce over penne noodles. House specialties include banana peppers stuffed with hot sausage and topped with marinara and cheese. The chefs also liven up diners' mornings by building breakfast sandwiches with pretzel buns and filling french toast with lemon-mascarpone cheese.
In 1938, J. Oliver Wintzell opened a tiny seafood joint on Dauphin Street in historic Mobile, Alabama. With room for just six customers to hop up on barstools and sample oysters prepared in three signature styles?"fried, stewed, or nude"?the eatery harbored modest ambitions and kept itself in check with walls strewn with Oliver?s homespun sayings. Oysters this great can?t remain a secret for long, though, and Wintzell?s Oyster House began to grow at such a rate that Oliver was compelled to expand to new locations throughout Alabama and beyond?by bringing the tastes and flavors of the Gulf Coast to Pittsburgh.
Despite the restaurant?s rapid growth, remarkably little has changed since those early days. Oliver?s wit and wisdom still cover the walls, and the menu still tempts with its stuffed crabs, USDA-certified steaks, and signature oysters. In keeping with the cozy atmosphere Oliver cultivated by necessity more than 70 years ago, shuckers stationed at the oyster bar chat with diners as they garnish half shells with hickory-smoked bacon and slap away the tentacles of sneaky krakens. Tom Bross of Delta's Sky magazine has some helpful words of advice for first-time visitors to the restaurant: "Let the Southern hospitality, laid-back tempo and maybe a cold one help you unwind."