Since 1984, Champps Americana's kitchen has sizzled with made-from-scratch dishes, satiating sports fans and families with a comfortable atmosphere. Amid sunlit dining rooms, diners seated at wooden tabletops can root for their favorite pixels on flat-screen TVs broadcasting live sports. In the kitchen, chefs prepare pastas with grilled chicken and roasted artichokes, pile buns with barbecued pulled pork and spicy buffalo chicken, and fill soft taco shells with grilled steak. Behind the bar, bartenders whip up specialty cocktails and margaritas and fill goblets with wine and local craft beers on tap.
From their seats in the Glengarry Inn, diners can evaluate golfers’ early swings, thanks to a view of the Eagle Vale Golf Course’s first tee. When merged with the dining room's stately bookcases and roaring fireplace, these lush green views add a multisensory experience to the kitchen's cuts of Atlantic salmon, veal, and lobster that mingle with the smoky aromas of brick-oven pizza. On Fridays and Saturdays, musicians enrich the chatter of diners with live tunes inspired by the surroundings of the golf course, the aroma of gourmet meals, and the clash of contrasting plaids.
At Label 7, fresh ingredients such as crisp shaved fennel and gruyere cheese garnish entrees inspired by the light, healthy cuisine of California's Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Wicker chairs flank tables in the softly lit indoor dining room. Oversized white flowerboxes stand guard along the perimeter of a canal-side patio, where a brigade of umbrellas shields patrons from splashing during nearby diners’ attempts to literally wade through the wine list.
When Nord Brue and Mike Dressell began perfecting their bagel recipe with the help of a professional NYC bagel maker in 1983, the bagel was still an anomaly in the food world—it was geographically and culturally still isolated in New York City. Fueled by a desire to change that, the duo opened up the first Bruegger's deli with the hope of eventually introducing the rest of the country to the bagel. Brue and Dressell have since realized their dream, sharing their distinctive recipes and culinary traditions at 300 locations spread across 26 states. To this day, they oven-bake their centerless bread rolls every morning and afternoon, populating counter displays that also brim with daily made breads, Vermont cream cheese, and custom-roasted coffee.
Executive Chef Phillip Smith and his network of chefs still use the original five-ingredient recipe for their dough, which they shape into more than 20 bagel varieties. Because they draw from each region's local recipes and from dialogue and Pictionary games with local consumers, certain menu items may vary from store to store across the country. The bagels are often served with Bruegger's eclectic cream cheeses such as bacon scallion or pumpkin, or as sandwiches with meats, cheeses, and veggies often sourced from local or organic produce. Coffe gets just as much attention, with house blends of 100% arabica coffee.
Walking into the lime-hued house out of which Olive's Greek Taverna operates, you are struck with the sense that you are entering an old friend’s home—a friend who is busy in the kitchen, filling the air with the aromas of seasoned beef and flame-kissed cheese. In addition to these trademark Greek dishes, the culinary team at Olive’s mingles stewed lamb with kasseri cheese and stuffs more than a dozen kinds of gyro meat into pita envelopes. Grape leaves and grilled eggplant anchor the menu in tradition, whereas more inventive pizzas arrive at tables laden with portobello mushrooms and goat cheese.
A fireplace, sunny-yellow walls, and exposed wooden beams contribute to the convivial atmosphere, and murals of the Mediterranean inspire wanderlust-stricken diners to dye their bathtub water a brighter blue. Tipplers can perch at the bar to sip their wine, and on summery nights, guests can abandon their inside voices while lounging on an outdoor patio.
At Headliners Pizza, the wait staff have a little easier time recognizing regulars. The restaurant invites each visitor to leave their mark on the wall of fame, in the form of a personal quote, signature, or appropriate headline. Those with big appetites can earn their time in the spotlight in a photograph which hangs in the restaurant, as long as they complete the pizza-plate challenge. They must finish a huge slice of their favorite pie along with a side of macaroni salad and homefries covered with the famous Headliners' meat hot sauce within 25 minutes to earn the accolade, winning additional prizes such as a free T-shirt and bragging rights. The restaurant’s pizzas come topped to order with any number of more than two dozen kinds of cheese, meat, and veggies.