Fontana Grill & Wine Bar's modern dining room reverberates with the clink of glasses of fragrant wines and pleasant chatter as diners dig into a menu of all-natural pastas and Italian fare. As chef Nino transmutes premium meats and organic ingredients into solid fare, the skilled bartender chooses the finest whites and reds, much like an artist painting a sunburned snowman. The shimmering black surfaces of the bar and tables reflect stone-fired pizzas laden with gourmet morsels, such as truffle oil and prosciutto di Parma. Guests lounge upon wrought-iron furniture on the spacious brick patio surrounded by neatly trimmed shrubs and low-hanging trees.
If chef Raul Arreola could nominate an eighth wonder of the world, his choice would likely be Mexican food. He has a particular affinity for cuisine from Oaxaca, which has largely been sheltered from the outside influences that might otherwise have corrupted its distinctive flavors. Arreola left his job at Frontera Grill to open Mixteco Grill, where he pays tribute to the cuisine of Oaxaca—and nowhere else—with a menu of rich moles. Dishes such as pollo relleno and wood-grilled pork chop in mole verde have earned the restaurant a spot on the Michelin Guide's 2012 Bib Gourmand list, which catalogs exceptional food available at reasonable prices. The brightly colored restaurant has a BYOB policy, which gives guests the chance to break out the bathtub gin that came with their apartment's bathtub.
Beneath Hopleaf's counters, 41 taps flow with beer from all over the world, particularly Belgium. Bartenders serve each brew in its traditional vessel, whether a familiar pint glass, a goblet, or a top hat. The full beer list, which contains bottled rarities, spans dozens of pages and can take an evening to study. To complement the drinks, chefs whip up meat-centric dishes with a French predilection. Potato croquettes and charcuterie plates set the stage for heartier entrees, including steaming pots of mussels and an organic Montreal-style brisket sandwich on rye.