The Ravioli Shop's founder, Bill Kenney, feels so much pride in his store’s fresh-made products that if he notices a customer holding an odd pairing of ravioli and sauce, he’ll tactfully and enthusiastically suggest a swap. The rest of the team demonstrates the same dedication to furnishing excellent meals, guiding patrons through a dozen ravioli varieties and five regular sauces with personal advice, a handy online chart, and the ability to decipher the true desires of growling stomachs.
Staffers might recommend pairing their seasonal pumpkin ravioli with a sage and brown-butter sauce or perhaps their decadent lobster ravioli with vodka-cream sauce made with slow-pasteurized cream from a local dairy. In addition to pasta, the staff also bakes fresh bread daily, crafting semolina loaves, baguettes, and six varieties of focaccia early each morning. All ravioli, sauces, and breads are made from scratch, with 100% durum flour and fresh eggs infusing each sheet of pasta and roasted veggies and fresh-ground cheeses providing soft pockets of filling.
Ron and Rebecca Malek lead the baking staff at Balsam Bagels as it produces upwards of 200-dozen bagels a night, selling and distributing these 2,400 circles of sustenance to local colleges, coffee shops, and delis. Snag 12 bagels for yourself, with flavors such as sesame, wheat, rye, sun-dried tomato, pesto, blueberry, french toast, and salsa jalapeño, bringing the heat like a Nolan Ryan–thrown bagel. Customers can opt for 12 of the same bagels for a Bunyan-sized breakfast, or they can mix and match for a variety of spread-worthy circles. Enjoy your bagels from the privacy of your own hut, or split them with friends in the bakery's outdoor seating section.
When Rizzi's Restaurant head honchos Rick and Steve envisioned the eatery, they hoped to draft a casual atmosphere that fostered both family camaraderie and singular romance. Today, the dining room houses relaxed dinner dates and congenial social events ranging from engagement celebrations to Halloween parties. Chefs season every affair with traditional Italian and continental victuals. Dishes such as tenderloin asiago or chicken marsala receive reinforcement from a staid wine selection, with bottles hailing from the lush vineyards of Italy and the carmine grapes of Mars.
The bean blazers at Boulder Coffee Company flame-roast their coffee before brewing signature coffees and espressos. Sink into a comfy couch or float lazily on the aromatic wafts of fresh coffee while sipping on the caramel macchiato, a vanilla latte topped with caramel sauce, or a spiced chai. An artful atmosphere beckons the caffeinated critic with walls lined with paintings and negative space for seeing what's going on outside. Boulder Coffee Company’s open-mic night allows anyone to sign up to deliver comedy or perform espresso spit takes; check the calendar for an idea of upcoming acts.
Since assuming the reins at Nathan's Soup and Salad in 2007, owner Rick Torcello has continued to warm bellies with the same homemade soup, bread, and salad recipes developed and perfected by the eatery's eponymous founding family in 1980. Bowls brim with 40 soup varieties, including classic flavors such as Grandma’s Italian wedding, as well as innovative chilled-fruit and dessert soups created by Rick's wife Jody that buck conventionality like a penguin dressed in overalls. Fresh-baked breads and deli sandwiches on fresh croissants flank steaming cups, bowls, pints, and quarts of soup, and recipe contests inspire diners to add their favorite combinations to the lengthy menu. Nathan’s quaint original location rests beneath an inviting burgundy awning, and the carry-out-only convenience of the Park Avenue establishment warms on-the-go eaters.
Members of the Grinnell family have been preparing enticing American entrees and savory seafood dishes at their eponymous eatery for fifty years. Diners can prime palates with starters such as tender artichoke hearts sautéed in a light egg batter ($8.95) or light entrées such as the broiled chicken-breast salad festooned with black olives and a hard-boiled egg ($13.95). Those with heartier appetites can dive into freshly plucked fruits of the sea including broiled scallops ($19.95) and Australian lobster tails sporting light jackets of paprika butter (market price). On weekends, Grinnell’s serves up 12 juicy ounces of certified-Angus prime rib ($22.95), and Tuesdays showcase tender calf’s liver garnished with onions or bacon strips ($17.25). Linen tablecloths, flickering candlelight, and top-hatted ficus trees add a subtle elegance to the restaurant's array of artfully plated dishes.