Crisp breezes blow off the creek that cuts through River Restaurant's backyard, somersaulting through patio windows into the loft-like main dining room. There, amid leather furniture and a sleek metal staircase, diners dig into Mediterranean-style kebabs and orzo, or gently unwrap morsels of feta from grape leaves. Owner and chef Darin Byrd has his staff keep things simple with fresh ingredients and classic recipes for his menu of Mediterranean and American fare. Rivers Restaurant also hosts catered events, with capacity for 40 people sitting, 75 standing, or unlimited seating for parties willing to don water wings and float in the river.
For nearly 30 years, Rino’s Italian Restaurant's chef and owner, Rino, has crafted authentic Italian cuisine with ingredients from his own garden after researching dishes' historical and regional significance. Old-World ambiance pervades the dining room, where plated gnocchi, beef ravioli, and lasagna top cloth-draped tables surrounded by high-backed leather chairs. An extensive wine list supplies supple reds and crisp whites to pair with veal, steak, and seafood dishes. Wooden barrels, oil paintings, and stained-glass panels of vintners laze in guests' peripheries, and rustic charm spills from the dining room onto a grape arbor, where patrons can gaze at the stars or marvel at the waxing moon's smoothness.
Este Pizzeria’s sign bears an unmistakable resemblance to those found at New York subway stations—a fitting image for a pizzeria that slices up East Coast–style pies. The oversize, thin-crust triangles bear toppings as varied as ham, fresh basil, and housemade vegan meatballs. Their selection of 13 specialty pizzas includes entirely vegan disks as well as the Clay, a heaping of meatballs, pepperoni, ham, and sausage. In typical New York fashion, diners can also opt for strombolis and calzones and are permitted to yell, “I’m walkin’ here!” at other patrons when exiting the restaurant.
With faux-stucco walls, arched doorways, and warm, golden light, Roma Ristorante’s dining room seems to transport diners into the picturesque confines of a Tuscan-countryside villa. The scene is set for the main event: waiters transport festive Italian dishes such as manicotti noodles stuffed with ricotta and parmesan cheeses or sautéed chicken wrapped in a prosciutto bow. Lighter fare includes crisp salads and soup that's made fresh daily.
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The menu boasts pizzas made with fresh dough and non-traditional sauces, with predetermined specialty combinations for those reaching for their blankies when faced with the daunting task of choosing from over 20 toppings. Specialty pies are grouped by sauce, including original red, such as the Yellowstone (cheese, Canadian bacon, and pineapple), white garlic, such as the Pikes Peak (cheese, pepperoni, ground Italian sausage, sliced mushrooms, ripe black olives, tomatoes, and green onions), and others, such as the Evergreen (pesto sauce, cheese, artichoke hearts, sliced zucchini, black olives, tomatoes, green onions, and chopped garlic). A large specialty pizza is $18.35.