Sizzling Central American cuisine serenades senses in Estela's family-friendly interior, where customers can surf waves of free WiFi or challenge friends to games of foosball in between their savory bites. Start with a zesty appetizer such as mexican-chicken egg rolls ($6.90) before reeling in an entree such as pan-fried sea bass ranchero ($12.75) or a loaded combination platter ($9.60–$10.20). Homemade flan, fried ice cream, or choco tacos ($4.95–$5.95) can sweeten stomachs while a kaleidoscope of tequila from the restaurant's full bar adds sugar to the sentiments of dining love birds and old pinochle partners. Drool over the entire dinner menu, which also includes children's specials and vegetarian options, on Estela's website.
The owners at The Oaks grew up in the area, and they treat their restaurant almost like a second home. This isn't just because their restaurant physically resembles a house, with its cavernous screened-in porch and french doors. It's primarily because community is important to them, and they make it their mission to define The Oaks by its welcoming, homey environment. It's also a point of pride to the owners that much of their staff has worked there since The Oaks opened in 2000, after the Y2K panic subsided and restaurants could once more sell noncanned food. To craft upscale comfort and pub food from scratch, the owners mined their families' recipe books. The result? Ribs, fried mac 'n' cheese, grilled-grouper reubens, and a slew of beefy burgers savored both indoors and under the patio's strung-up lights and parasols.
At Big City Grill Co., patrons can experience metropolitan life without journeying far from home. The eatery reconstructs American dining by presenting a menu packed with signature foods from throughout the country, like Hawaiian honey-glazed chicken and Boston fried shrimp. Additionally, the dining areas capture urban life with black-and-white cityscape murals, subway-car replicas, and tourists shuffling around the room asking each other for directions.
Della's After Dark is the Teen Wolf of eateries, morphing from a demure deli into a swanky spot for savories come sundown. Slurp a “seafood margarita” ($7), a combo of lime, mango, cilantro, shrimp, crab, and squid, or skate toasted french bread across an oozy caldron of baked goat-cheese marinara ($7). Fresh, colorful salads, including the grape tomato and boccocini ($8) drizzled with balsamic vinegar, pleasantly stretch stomach muscles in preparation for the main course. Della's menu also offers a variety of protein-based plates, from pan-Asian seared tofu ($14) to grilled swordfish bedded with sundried-tomato pesto and parmesan polenta ($18). Desserts change nightly; recent sweets include bananas foster and sticky date pudding.
Lee House executive chefs Michael Lee and Thanh Uong inter-weave Chinese and Vietnamese cooking techniques, decades-old family recipes, and years of restaurant experience to craft a menu of dim sum and authentic Chinese fare. A team of culinary air-traffic controllers guides the peking duck’s half-bird in for a landing on plate runways next to a stack of steaming pancakes ($16.00). Savory spare ribs simmer in a clay pot alongside a tart tuft of bitter melon ($8.50), and the specialty beef-chow-fun coils house-made wide rice noodles alongside seasonal vegetables ($8.95). A separate dim-sum menu stocks bellies with classics such as pork dumplings, spring rolls, and black-tie spring rolls in noodle cummerbunds, as well as introducing appetites to exotic meats such as steamed chicken feet ($2.95–$10.95/dim-sum dish).
Inspired by his father’s pie-making prowess, owner Pat Giammarco brings family recipes, fresh ingredients, and from-scratch preparation to Marco’s menu of gourmet pizzas, freshly baked subs, and wings. Marco’s signature sauce—born from imported spices, three types of vine-ripened tomatoes, and black-magic spells—flows over never-frozen dough before a robust mixture of three cheeses tops each of the menu’s seven specialty pies. Crispy Old-World pepperonis speckle the pepperoni Magnifico ($8.99+), providing a carnivorous alternative to the garden pizza’s feta-led blend of four cheeses, mushrooms, and sliced tomatoes ($10.99+). Eight freshly baked subs, including hoagies stuffed with italian meatballs and steak ($5.99 each), round out the menu alongside boneless wings served buffalo-style, or, like Tennessee-style donuts, slathered in a tangy barbecue sauce ($6.99 each).