The Mad Chef Cafe & Grill creates a menu with a little something for everyone, whether they’re a vegetarian, carnivore, or simply craving a home-cooked meal. Flavor explodes in dishes such as crispy tofu stir-fry, blackened rib eye topped with frizzled onions, and shrimp and calamari tossed in a sweet Thai sauce with sesame noodles. For lunch, cooks unveil a spread of paninis, wraps, and burgers. Regardless of the time of day, patrons have the option of dining inside or on the patio during spring and summer. The restaurant also hosts cooking classes both in-house or from the comfort of the student’s own abode, ideal for those who tire of commuting with a full set of pots and pans tied to their back.
Quinta Bistro's chef David Kiser draws on his European background to design a menu replete with Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian influences that emphasize seasonal ingredients that pop with fresh, warm flavors. Paella Valenciana ($15.95) packs centuries of Spanish charm into on-the-bone roasted chicken and chorizo resting on a bed of saffron rice studded with cushy pea throw pillows. Spicy crab linguini ($17.95) piques palates with a rich San Marzano sauce. Homemade desserts including flan ($5) and crème brûlée ($8) make for a creamy ending to a dashing dinner and send guests home to dream in Portuspanitalian. With an inviting family atmosphere and a casual BYOB policy, Quinta Bistro stamps palates' passports for a culinary tour of Western Europe without the hassle of having each taste bud searched at customs.
As a native Sicilian with more than 40 years of experience cooking Italian-American cuisine, the owner of Giovanni's Pizza & Pasta knows how to make an authentic pie. The cozy eatery has been pulling hot Sicilian- and New York–style pizzas out of its ovens since 1995 and begins delivering them at noon every day. The fresh toppings and innovative gourmet pizza styles—such as eggplant parmesan or chicken with pink vodka sauce—prompted New Jersey 101.5 listeners to vote it one of their Top 10 Pizzerias in the radio station's Slice of Jersey competition. Even the ambiance harks back to the Old World, with bright yellow walls, draped foliage, and colorful landscape paintings, including a full-length mural depicting the verdant, rolling hills of the Italian countryside.
The cozy establishment is filled with the aromas of housemade pasta al forno and garlic knots baking in the oven and the sweet scents of handcrafted cannolis. Giovanni’s chefs can also fill homes or offices with the savory fragrances of catered cuisine, including 6-foot subs that are ideal for measuring kids' yearly height growth.
According to legend, Elias Atrum—a recluse dubbed "Old Eli" by area townsfolk—first farmed the grounds in the 1800s. When locals began disappearing, the authorities’ investigation pointed toward Eli’s farm, where they stumbled upon unspeakably gruesome sights. Now, every October, the farm fills with the sound of screams and Eli’s maniacal laughter.
Creepy Hollow’s Atrum Farm tells the gruesome story surrounding the locale, tracing Eli's grim descent and the carnage that he left in his wake. New this year, Paranoia—a second trail—lures intrepid guests through more of the haunted grounds, highlighting the sinister presence that lingered long after the mad farmer disappeared. This trail maintains a petrifying mood made all the more unsettling by strobe lights, fog machines, and loud noises. For easily frightened guests, Creepy Hollow includes a relaxing moonlight hayride through some of the 1,000 acres of farmland and a 5-acre, family-friendly corn maze. The staff also keeps teeth from chattering with concessions such as hot dogs, hot cider, and hot chocolate.
Bella Pizza’s gourmet pizzas—made with a secret sauce and housemade dough—helped the Italian eatery earn a Hillsborough Patch Readers’ Choice award this year. Along with signature pizzas, such as the cheesesteak and buffalo calamari, the chefs also create made-from-scratch calzones, sandwiches, subs, and submarines—actual submarines. They also whip up oven-baked pastas and dinners such as chicken parmigiana. Bella Pizza’s owner, Akhtar Farzaie, has demonstrated his commitment to the community by supporting a local 7-year-old boy who organized an impressive coat drive.