Despite having cooked for distinguished clients such as the Clintons and Leon Panetta, and at prestigious culinary institutions such as Chicago's Palmer House, chef Jason Milanese felt restless. That is, until he opened his own restaurant: Bistro B. As the owner and executive chef, he specializes in crafting gourmet twists on classic American dishes, from small plates like sauce-drizzled chicken lollipops to entrees such as potato-and-onion-crusted halibut and a double-cut pork chop with sweet potato purée. A minimal, yet rustic decor featuring earth tones, framed mirrors, and dark-wood furnishings contributes to the restaurant's grassroots American feel.
At Vino on the Brick Walk, sapphire walls cast a nautical vibe across booths and white-clothed tables. There, dishes of Italian, Mediterranean, and seafood specialties pair with drinks from an extensive wine list. The blue hues that surround meals inside also follow diners out onto an outdoor patio, splashing across umbrellas that unfurl to shade tables or conveniently fold down to become giant toothpicks. Brick groundwork also accompanies patio visits, as do plants and flowerpots that combine to create a leafy framework.:m]]
Alex Rubeo wants to take you on a journey. Crossing the threshold into Mariela's Wine Bar, rich hardwoods and a humble atmosphere aim to transport the senses to a faraway place—to France, or maybe Italy—where visitors sip glasses of wine, share intimate conversation, and snack on shareable plates. Alongside pours from the rotating selection of wines by the glass, live music and tastings add to the relaxed atmosphere of cozy tables, a well-stocked bar, and the occasional Snuggie-clad bartender.
With a white-picket fence around its perimeter and an American Flag waving from its bay windows, Boulevard 18 Bistro & Wine Bar might look like a great place to raise a family. But instead of embodying the American Dream, this 1860s Georgian landmark holds a little piece of Paris inside. Chef and co-owner David Raymer transports palates across the Atlantic by pairing more than 80 French wines with traditional entrees. And, much like in a Parisian bistro's kitchen, the focus here is on the craft. Chef Raymer creates country pâté and cures gravlax in house, and even stuffs his own sausages with flavors such as merguez or boudin blanc. The result: French classics with a modern twist, such as grilled mustard-seed-crusted leg of lamb with ratatouille or a duck confit salad.
An antique map of Paris covers the wall of the dining room so that guests never forget where the flavors they're tasting came from. But it also helps tie the room together. The map's curving, cobblestone avenues guide eyes toward the scarlet booths and hardwood accents. Boulevard 18 Bistro & Wine Bar also offers a seasonal dining patio with views of the village fire station where Chef Raymer buys the flames to fill the fire pit.
Cuisine Type: Italian-American comfort food
Reservations: Not offered
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 5–10
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Traditional meatballs, pasta, and salad
Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout only
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Pro Tip: Come with an appetite and an open mind. Be ready to taste meatballs in ways you never have before.
Fast Facts: Mima’s Meatballs and More is a fast casual Italian café, which uses fresh and high-quality ingredients for its menu items, such as the meatballs made in-house and pizza fritte dough fresh and fried to order. With warm, friendly, and professional service, Mima's aims to redefine fast casual dining.
What made you want to work with food? When did you first develop that passion?
My whole life; it's all I've ever done. I love that every day is different. I never know who is walking through the door or what challenges the day may bring.
What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?
It combines three generations of family recipes and transports your taste buds through classic Italian fare to new-age concepts like buffalo meatballs.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
Simple and exceptional. We do what we do best, and we make sure it's great every time.