ComeKeto (pronounced koh-may-keh-toe) derives its name from a Brazilian saying translates literally as "eat quietly," meaning "keep your business to yourself." But for Rio de Janeiro and kitchen-master Rodrigo Souza, it's too late for that kind of prudence?the word is out already. Specializing in massive, meaty burgers that are complemented by an optional layer of fiery chili, the sandwich shop offers such rib-stickers as the Salada, a burger with mozzarella and ham and the aptly-named Elephant, with chicken, steak, pork loin, and kielbasa sausage?to name just a few. ComeKeto also serves American-style subs and grinders, and meat-centric entrees such as the picanha na T?bua with sirloin steak and a secret house seasoning.
The staff at Tropical Café patrol the restaurant’s perimeter constantly, spears in hand. They’re not on guard duty, though. Rather, they’re servers, carving off portions of freshly roasted Brazilian barbecue. They stop at every table, offering their savory cargo to diners who have flipped their personal dining card green side up, indicating that they might be in danger of consuming plant matter from the extensive salad bar if more meat does not arrive soon.
The taste of culture doesn’t stop at the barbecue, however. Tropical Café fills weekends with live musical performances of South American and Brazilian folk music. Wednesday evenings are devoted to karaoke, the classic contest made more interesting by participants who sing with mouthfuls of meat.
As Italian eateries go, Peppercorn?s is a chameleon. Entrees can be elegant?grilled salmon over mesclun, steak tips with a seafood casserole?or downright comforting, such as a pot roast with natural pan gravy. Families have an easy time ordering thanks to the thin-crust pizzas and kids' menu, whereas more mature crowds enjoy the benefits of Peppercorn?s proximity to Wormtown Brewery. The craft-beer producers are just next door, so they keep Peppercorn?s bar stocked with their regular brews, rare offerings, and to-go growlers. In the lounge, seven high-definition flat screen TVs broadcast the day?s athletic proceedings, and here spectators can order anything off the full menu while they second-guess the manager's decision to replace the catcher with a pyramid of fragile milk bottles.
For 30 years, the culinary family behind CJ's Steakloft has whipped up a spread of savory steak-house fare, including juicy slabs of beef, hearty pastas, and fresh fish. Cuts of prime rib fill plates with tender helpings ($19.95), and Parisienne sirloin ($18.95) proves its whereabouts with an airtight alibi of thick, tasty grill marks. Pasta entrees, such as the creamy chicken-and-broccoli alfredo ($14.95) unite starch and protein in a palatable symphony of flavor, and seafood dishes such as baked stuffed haddock deliver artfully prepared packages of fresh, flaky ocean fare ($16.95). Combination dinners unite land and sea with mix-and-match entrees such as steak tips and lobster accompanied by an edible aide-de-camp of potato or vegetable ($24.95).
Most chefs tend to specialize in a particular cuisine, such as Italian or sushi. Prezo Grille & Bar's executive chef, Tim Vaillette, however, prefers to specialize in a little bit of everything. His main menu runs the gamut from classic American burgers to Barcelona-style swordfish served with rice pilaf. He also draws inspiration from Italy, topping the house-made dough of his thin-crust pizzas with ingredients such as buffalo mozzarella, ricotta, meatballs, and caramelized onions. To complement Tim's far-reaching menu, Prezo's bartenders serve an extensive selection of cocktails and craft beer, as well as more than 20 wines by the glass and 50 by the bottle.
Feasts unfold in Prezo's upscale, romantically lit dining room or in its similarly lit bar, where four plasma televisions stay tuned to the latest sports game.
Inside Koto Steak House, two very different art forms are on display. At the hibachi grill, chefs turn cooking into an acrobatic spectacle as they flip cookery, crack jokes, and turn up the flames on Asian fusion fare. But the chefs at the sushi bar have a quieter technique, delicately assembling rice, fish, and veggies into artful sushi and sashimi rolls.