Sweet Expressions stocks an abundance of bountiful baskets and chocolate confections, ideal for satisfying sweet cravings and commemorating occasions of all types. A champagne-bucket gift basket ($55) bestows bubbly celebration essentials upon recipients, and a chocolate basket ($38) brims with such victuals as chocolate-covered pretzels and cookies. Classic chocolate-covered strawberries ($16.95) paved the way for chocolate-covered potato chips ($2.50), which join bacon, crickets, and forklifts on the ever-expanding list of dippable treats. A molded set of chocolate tools ($9.99) or baby booties ($3.75) make great gifts for dads both old and new, and a 24-piece box of assorted chocolates ($18) embraces unpredictability. Shoppers can also wean sweet teeth with a savory pasta basket, boasting noodles, sauce, olive oil, and a colander ($55).
At Perico’s, the faux parrots that perch over the dining room may not greet you when you arrive, but the din of live music will. Musicians take the stage five days a week, playing in front of a silver curtain that glitters under the twinkling lights that stretch across the restaurant’s lofty ceilings. As rock 'n' roll, doo-wop, and '80s covers fill the air, guests have been known to stand up and dance off the hearty Tex-Mex dinners that emerge from Perico’s kitchen. Classic platters feature such Mexican favorites as burritos, enchiladas, tacos, and flautas with a pile of rice and beans. More innovative eats such as the quesadilla burger, a hamburger patty wrapped in a flour tortilla and smothered in cheese and pico de gallo, unite Mexican and American flavors more tastily than a bacon-wrapped peso.
The secret behind Carmine Street NY Pizza & Mussels’ New York–style slices is the restaurant’s stone-brick oven, which sears dough until it attains the style’s signature crispy, thin-crusted crunch. However, Chef Anthony knows that a great pizza relies on more than its base, so he tops dough with gourmet ingredients such as chicken marsala, meatballs, and fresh baby spinach.
Like a graphic novel about pearls, the restaurant also features a few oceanic alter egos. Mussels, shrimp, and calamari are delivered to the kitchen daily, allowing chefs to toss them with wine, herbs, and pasta, or quickly fry them for fresh appetizers. Calzones, paninis, and entrees of chicken piccata are among the menu's classic Italian meals. Diners may pair meals with wines and cocktails procured at the full liquor bar, or take in the soothing streams of live music while feasting indoors or on the patio.
Country Kisses Candle Shoppe's staff stocks shelves with rustic décor, eclectic jewelry, and scented candles handcrafted from soybeans grown in the United States. Customers can light an 8-ounce candle ($10.25) to season a room with aromatic spices or impress a visiting cro-magnon with their ability to harness the power of fire. A loaf-shaped bread candle ($24.75) envelops abodes in the scents of freshly baked bread, and a mixed set of soybean melts ($11.25) mingles a variety of scents for sundry smelling. Adorn dull collarbones with eclectic necklace sets ($5 each), or acquire décor items from key hooks to quilts to make an abode seem more homey and remind your landlord not to shut off the gas.
Chris and Michelle Lussier learned some of their most important lessons from their grandparents—techniques for cooking meatballs so they are plump and flavorful, the proper amount of garlic to use in homemade sauces, and how to manage a family-style restaurant with both efficiency and warmth. The duo and their chefs have been whipping up Italian specialties in their cheerful neighborhood eatery for nearly a decade, from creamy pastas to plump calzones. They speckle their pizzas with gourmet toppings, such as barbecue chicken and tender steak.