Founded by ice-cream enthusiasts Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone Creamery has grown to more than 1,400 locations across North America. Each day, the shop's scoopers mix up fresh batches of ice cream, yogurt, and sorbet, which are served by the scoop, piled high in sundaes, and blended into shakes. After customers choose their desired flavor, the staffers toss the chilly sustenance upon a slab of frozen granite and fold in a smorgasbord of candy and nuts to achieve the ideal ice-cream-to-add-in ratio. Customers can dream up their own creations or opt for a signature masterpiece, sampling one of more than 11.5 million possible flavor combinations, which still await a brave conqueror to unlock them all. To accommodate sweets cravings at celebrations, staff members also dish out ready-made treats, such as ice-cream cakes, cupcakes, and cookies.
The front nine and the back nine at Copper Ridge Golf Club begin and end in strikingly similar fashion. On the first hole, players start their round with a drive into an opening fairway that, like a birthday card without cash, only appears generous: the wide visible portion narrows considerably into a slender piste that sends players up to an elevated green. The tenth hole repeats the sleight-of-hand, only with an even more pronounced difference between the open expanse and slim landing zone before a two-tiered green.
The 9th and 18th holes, meanwhile, are essentially mirror images of one another, incorporating the largest lake on the course. If players hit too far left on their tee shots on the 9th hole?or, conversely, too far right on the 18th?they'll end up in the drink, potentially spoiling an otherwise pristine round as they cover the home stretch of the 6,916-yard course.
At Luca's Chophouse, the steak gurus in the kitchen weigh plates down with hefty 24-ounce porterhouses, 14-ounce new york strips, and 12-ounce rib-eyes. They slice only all-natural beef and use only all-natural singing voices to tenderize them. Creative plates, such as almond-encrusted blueberry scallops or pasta americana dressed in a Cajun tomato cream sauce, keep the menu varied and match the colorful, flower-filled vases dotting the eatery's tables. For a fully immersed experience, the chefs recommend diners pair their dishes with a wine from their extensive list.
Cranberries Café's gastronomic gurus whip up a rich lunch and dinner menu of contemporary American fare, all within a vintage eatery reconstructed out of the town's first general store. Afternoon noshers can muffle midday stomach moans with a lunchtime starter of deep-fried mushrooms ($4.95) before moving on to one of the many salads or sandwiches, such as the turkey club ($5.95) or the Cape Cod, a consortium of turkey, cream cheese, dried cranberries, and walnuts between cranberry bread ($5.95). Kick off dinner with house-made olive tapenade, hummus, and a cheese spread atop pita bread ($6.95), or fuse the worlds of fruit and fowl with cranberry-walnut chicken drizzled in brandy sauce ($13.95). Sautéed yellow perch served in a grilled bun makes for a fantastic addition to abdominal aquariums ($7.95), and the garlic-and-red-wine-soused, broiled-tenderloin skewers ($12.95) satiate steak cravings and come in handy during impromptu jousting matches after dinner. Cranberries Café employs only trans-fat-free oil for frying and picks fresh herbs from the garden to summon rich flavors in every dish.
Edoardo Barbieri's love of cooking began during a time of war. As an Italian soldier in World War II, he was captured by Allied forces and imprisoned in a series of prisoner-of-war camps in the United States. The young soldier was assigned to the mess hall, and he quickly realized a knack for the culinary arts. When the war ended, he returned to northern Italy and married his fiancée, but it wasn't long before America began calling him back. Edoardo and his wife immigrated to the States, where he soon opened a number of acclaimed Italian restaurants. As his family and business both grew, his son and grandchildren eventually joined the cause, creating a restaurant chain run by three generations of the Barbieri family.
At Da Edoardo North, the flavors and aromas of northern Italian cuisine vie for attention with lakeside scenery visible through the dining room's floor-to-ceiling windows. Executive chef Eddie Barbieri, who is also Eduardo's grandson, creates pastas and sauces from scratch with the family's time-honored recipes, pairing them with morsels of shrimp, veal, or pork chops seared to a tender finish. Individually sized pizzas bear the traditional toppings of prosciutto or Italian sausage, and the ample wine list proffers a selection of more than 100 varietals, many by the bottle. Diners can even bring a gourmet meal home with the restaurant's grab 'n' go option, which makes for a more convenient Italian meal than standing beneath a Sicilian construction crew at break time.
If Starlite Coney Island seems like a blast from the past, that's because it is. For almost 50 years, two generations of the same family have kept everything about the 24/7 diner close to its roots. To this day, meat is still ground in house for their signature double-meat, double-cheese hamburgers and for any style of burger from the restaurant's custom burger menu. Among the legendary dishes here, the Flint Original Coney Island dog is one of Starlite's claims to fame, served with a heaping helping of beef chili and chopped onions. And no matter the time of the day, you can always get Starlite's famous buttermilk pancakes, three-egg omelettes, and other breakfast meals.