At 9 Promenade, chef Thiago Cunha arrays sizable tapas dishes for communal dining alongside more than 20 specialty martinis. Nestled into pastry dough cradles, baked brie snuggles under blankets of balsamic and raspberry glaze, lulled into a false sense of security as grapes and walnuts hum rounds of soothing lullabies. Diners sink cuspids into a stuffed mushroom's made-to-order crab-cake core, or slather nine chicken wings in jalapeno cilantro, hot buffalo, or barbecue sauce. Hardworking jaws relax with sips of a Pineapple Upside Down Cake martini—a concoction of Stoli Vanil vodka, pineapple, and grenadine. For a serving of liquid dessert decadence, the Red Velvet martini blends Finlandia Redberry Vodka, Eristoff Sloe Berry vodka, cranberry juice, and Bailey's Irish Cream, resulting in sophisticated fruity tones best enjoyed while sprawled across the top of a baby grand in a silk robe.
The deli wizards at The Downtown Deli conjure up fresh sandwiches, salads, and appetizing breakfast fare, some of myriad items from the eatery’s extensive menu. Spice up the day with an early morning helping of french toast ($3.99), or prepare periscopes to explore the breakfast sub with pieces of bacon and sausage sailing atop two fried eggs coated in cheese ($5.99). Lunchtime diners can sate steak cravings with the foot-long ultimate philly ($7.29) or cross the border to savor the new york Reuben, slathered in thousand island dressing ($6.99). With its combination of Boar’s Head meat and italian dressing, the Highway 46 italian ($6.99) sets diners on the road toward deliciousness or Fort Lee, New Jersey—whichever comes first.
Monster Pizza's chefs slather doughy disks with mouth-moistening sauce, melted cheese, and the menu’s 30 meat, cheese, or vegetable toppings. Eaters can recruit a dream team from gargantuan 3-inch pepperoni slices, savory italian sausage, and six other meaty players or let mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, or banana peppers lead a veggie-fueled charge through hunger’s defensive lines. Alternately, set up mozzarella on a blind date with ricotta, parmesan, or another extra-cheese topping, sending nervous slices scurrying to the bathroom to check for bad breath. Chefs can also toss a honey-wheat crust upon request.
Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast, as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.
Sonic’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top-five fast-food restaurants in three categories: Best Value Menu, Best Milkshake, and Best Drivethru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through its program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
On a warm August day in 1938, a father and son unveiled the first sample of what was to become Dairy Queen, selling 1,600 samples on the first day, a feat as unheard of as a dragon that breathes ice. Its ensuing prolific expansion was fueled by its frozen treats, which propelled the dessert shop from 100 stores in 1947 to 1,446 in 1950. Today, their dessert recipes remain largely unchanged, and Dairy Queen has added hearty grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and fried chicken to its menu. Dairy Queen's enormous dessert menu boasts treats ranging from soft-serve cones and blizzards filled with cookies to takeaway ice-cream sandwiches and cakes.
Aromas of northern Italy waft through the glass-plated walls at DiVino Restaurant, where practiced chefs concoct a menu of authentic pastas and meat- and seafood-centric dishes to pair with Italian wines. Gastronomic voyages commence with decadent mozzarella caprese drizzled in olive oil ($7) or salty prosciutto accented by zesty umlauts and mild provolone cheese ($9). Garlic-infused cappellini pasta ($22) beckons eager taste buds, and penne flutes served alla norma frolic in a spicy sauce ($22). Chefs pan-fry prosciutto and mozzarella cheese before sliding it across a tender chicken breast in the costoletta milanese chicken ($23), and veal ($25) takes a nap in the broiler until it reaches a succulent char or demands another bedtime story. Throughout the feast, patrons can sip on chalices of white or red wine, including chardonnay ($6) and cabernet sauvignon ($7).