Cakes by Happy Eatery is local full-service gourmet bakery offering an exciting array of pastries, cookies, cakes, and a must have catering menu. The bakery's collection includes delicious cakes and pastries, in addition to wedding and special occasion cakes. All are beautiful works of edible art.
The chefs at Bella Vita Italian Eatery support the restaurant’s name—which translates to “the good life” in Italian—by gathering friends and families around hand-tossed specialty pizzas and plates of rich pasta. The lobster-and-crab ravioli, which, according to staff, earned the title of Best Entree at the Cuisine de Commerce 2012, comes coated in a velvety sherry cream sauce. Other dishes include meat lasagna and the veal gorgonzola with creamy butter sauce, although the eatery scores recognition for more than just its food. In 2012, Bella Vita Italian Eatery won the reader's choice award for “friendliest restaurant in Prince William County” from InsideNova Network. Patrons can unwind even further while ipping a glass of wine from the full bar or participating in a postmeal shoulder-massage line.
After internships at the Ritz-Carlton in St. Thomas and on the Laguarian Sea Coast in Italy, chef Clarke Congdon winged his way to Boston, eventually opening his own restaurant, Clarke's Grill & Sports Emporium. Chef George Zwetkow was trained at the Culinary Institute of America and distills 35 years of experience into each dish he sears, to say nothing of this polyglot's fluency in English, Russian, and Spanish. The third pillar of the eatery, Mike Larkin, gives the establishment its sports aesthetic, having played minor-league hockey for five years before cultivating marketing prowess. Framed jerseys, photos, and sports memorabilia make the walls as athletic as Bo Jackson and are available for love-struck patrons to purchase after sharing a platter of nachos and dreams with an autographed hockey jersey. Plates of the signature fish tacos, topped with creamy chimichurri sauce and fresh cilantro, steal outside onto the sprawling patio. The outdoor space features weekly events including bean-bag tournaments and wine tastings, and flat-screen TVs light up the full bar, displaying both Red Sox and Yankees games to satisfy rival fans without inciting a duel over the remote or with remotes.
In 2002, Mike Southard took a leap of faith worthy of The Dukes of Hazzard. He left a career in the elevator industry and decided to pursue his true passion: stock-car driving. Southard launched Try It Racing and On Track Racing Experience, determined to share with others the thrill he had felt many times in the victory lane of late-model stock-car races. His business has grown from a few humble events and clients each year to a fully packed schedule at some of the country's longest running and most renowned racetracks. Some things haven't changed, however—you can still find Southard behind the wheel of the two-seat ride-along car, taking patrons around curves and straightaways at top speed.
Adrenaline fiends satisfy their cravings while driving or riding around tracks such as Orange County Speedway, where industry legends Jeff Gordon and Scott Riggs have burned their share of rubber. A professional photographer and in-car video cameras can capture the excitement at each event, memorializing guests' wide-open eyes, exhilarated smiles, and high-intensity games of I Spy.
From the long wooden bar at Mackey's American Pub, you can catch a sporting event, some karaoke, or even live music. But even without these draws, crowds would come simply for the pub eats: ribeye steaks glazed in bourbon, crab cake dinners, and burgers served with sauteed mushrooms on a bagel bun. Smoking is allowed on the first floor, though the second-floor stays smoke-free.
In May 1932, the proud owner of Bushong’s Grocery posed for a photo in his shop, completely oblivious to the fact that in 80 years, it would have evolved into Simply Sweet on Main. Today, the coffeehouse still retains the homey air of his inviting store. Hardwood floors, worn by time and river-dancing, stretch out beneath clusters of tables, plush chairs, and a counter surrounded by whitewashed wood paneling. On colorful chalkboards, a hand-scrawled menu features coffee, espresso, and smoothies bursting with flavors such as passion orange guava or pineapple and coconut. Beverages are served with wraps, sandwiches, and paninis stuffed with meats and veggies. Soothing ears are the songs of live musicians and the soft taps of laptop keyboards as their owners surf free WiFi.
Romance is in the air at Carmello's, where diners perch on ivory padded chairs surrounded by the warm tones of exposed brick walls, dark wood, and golden accents. In crafting its dishes of seafood, pasta, and chops from scratch, the kitchen draws on Italian and Portuguese influences. The ingredients are fresh from local purveyors, so the offerings change with the seasons. These dishes can be complemented by selections from the eatery's wine menu—its more than 50 Portuguese wines earned it Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence and two thumbs up from Bob.