The sound of fire. The igniting exhalation before the steady breath of the flame sustains. The heat pulsing steadily outward from the steel grill—you feel it on your glowing face. But the chef looks cool. He’s a master, after all; a flat, metal spatula in one hand and an enormous, sharp knife in the other. Kani House’s teppanyaki tables are no strangers to the action of hibachi, where these chefs entertain their guests before plating seared steak and scallops alongside fresh, sautéed vegetables. The steady sushi masters may not share their compatriots’ outward exuberance, but their work is just as delicious. From behind their long bar, they assemble maki cylinders with tender cuts of fatty tuna and bright salmon, artfully arranging cuts of more than 50 specialty rolls in the shape of gentle caterpillars or fearsome members of the Japanese Diet. Bright bamboo panels and natural stone add to the vibrant ambiance, surrounding diners with dark-wood and nuanced accents that keep the focus on the beauty of excellent cuisine.
Hailing from opposite ends of the country, Chef McDowell from Los Angeles and local culinary guru Chef Raffi team up to craft their Mediterranean menu amid warm, golden hues and live weekend entertainment. Using regional ingredients in many of their dishes, the duo layers flavors to bring their guests a taste of the Mediterranean's signatures, including lamb, polenta, kebabs, and a variety of seafood. As belly dancers shimmy and sparkle between tables each Saturday evening, diners sip wines such as Chateau Ste. Michelle's cabernet sauvignon from the eatery's carefully compiled wine list while savoring a tapas plate of crispy, caramelized pork or an entree of baked, boneless roasted lamb. For special occasions or a simple get-together with friends, the restaurant's patio invites groups to partake in the indulgence of a hookah while relishing the open-air ambiance and cheshire grins of mischievous squirrels.
At Havana South Restaurant and Bar, a conga line of authentic Cuban entrees parades out of the kitchen, transporting diners to the Caribbean with dishes such as picadillo a la Cubana and ropa vieja in criolle sauce. The chef draws on his culinary experience to populate the menu with true Cuban cuisine.
Meanwhile, drink enthusiasts can marvel at servers using guava, mango, and passion fruit to brew up refreshing batches of house-made mojitos. The tropical flavor carries over to the eatery's decor as well. A life-size painting of palm trees and domino players on the beach may fool diners into thinking that they're dining on the coast, whereas crimson-hued walls compliment heated salsa nights that are speckled throughout the eatery?s event schedule. Spanish music constantly pours from the speakers, inspiring guests to get up and dance, a practice encouraged by the staff.
At Swirlz Yogurt Bar, customers hop from station to station, operating as many of 21 handles as they desire while swirling velvety combos into cups and waffle cones. The variety of flavors includes chocolate glazed donut, cinnamon bun, and birthday cake. Healthy topping choices such as blueberries and yogurt chips are joined by more indulgent options of the chocolate and candy variety. To keep options virtually endless, guests also have tarts and sorbets to pick from, as well as dairy-free and gluten-free frozen treats.
Since founding Riverside Pizza in Lawrenceville in 1999, Al and Sandy Thompson have expanded their pizzeria business to a total of nine locations across the Atlanta area. The Thompsons oversee each shop, ensuring that pizza chefs top the day's dough with homemade sauce and real cheese grated by real cows. Besides loading pizzas with everything from sausage and mushrooms to barbecue chicken, the Riverside crew assembles roast beef, club, and Italian–style sandwiches alongside caesar and greek salads.
Planet Smoothie actually does cover a significant portion of the planet, with locations all over the east coast and as far west as Hawaii. In their expansive geographical quest, they seek to change dieting habits for the better with their products. The team behind this fruit haven lays down exactly what their smoothies are made from and what they will do for your body so that clients can make informed decisions about their smoothie choices.
Their full menu catalogs fruit-filled drinks, with options to add protein powder for faster muscle growth than when Arnold Schwarzenegger synchronized his bicep flexing to a hip-hop beat. They also mix in fat-burning blasts to suppress appetites and immune-system blasts to keep bodies healthy. The shop accommodates clients? food allergies and dietary restrictions with gluten-free and dairy-free options. In addition, they only use natural, low-calorie sweeteners composed of agave and stevia to offer a healthy alternative to chemical sweeteners while avoiding the excess calories associated with traditional sugar.