Mindy Segal, a five-time nominee for the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Pastry Chef award, crafts contemporary American cuisine at her combination restaurant, dessert bar, and pastry shop. The restaurant’s foodsmiths aggressively pursue the best practices in cooking and plating, organizing ingredients in ways that accentuate texture, temperature, and taste. Fresh groceries sourced from farmers and Peter Rabbit’s knapsack become salads, such as beets with mixed greens, or sandwiches, such as the cheddar melt on pumpernickel. Entrees for breakfast, lunch, and dinner incorporate French ingredients and preparations while maintaining New-World flair. The restaurant’s namesake beverage—hot chocolate—comes in eight different styles, each crowned in housemade marshmallows and christened with steamed milk or coffee.
Aaron Zacharias began his career in foodservice at the age of 15, working his way up from bus boy to bartender to wine seller, and ultimately, to restaurateur. At Fountainhead, his second venture since opening The Bar on Buena in 2003, Aaron teams up with certified Cicerone beer guide Phil Kuhl to curate a collection of delicious brews, whiskies, and wines. The duo constructs and reconstructs their menu around the beverages on hand, ensuring delicious pairings for small plates such as crab and polenta, which mingle flavors with 21 craft beers on tap and a wine list featuring varietals from all over the world. Scottish whiskies form their own course between appetizers and entrées such as the pork sausage ragout. Inside the dining room, gentle lighting illuminates handcrafted mahogany woodwork and an asymmetrical bar cuts the space into two intimate rooms, one of which features a crackling fireplace. When the weather warms, the restaurant’s rooftop garden opens to reveal a landscaped terrace accompanied by a truncated menu of drinks available on the rooftop taps.
Jefferson Tap & Grille serves a variety of beers and seasonal cocktails alongside a menu of tasty traditionals. Sample appetizers such as five mini cheeseburgers on butter buns served with pickle chips ($8.99), or the healthy pita pizza on a crispy naan crust, topped with low-fat mozzarella, basil, onion, tomato, and red pepper ($8.99). Wraps, salads, and sandwiches are plentiful. Try the hearty sesame lime steak wrap ($10.99), grilled strips marinated in lime sesame sauce in a honey wheat shell. Or opt for a barbecue beef sandwich ($8.99), thin slices of beef smothered in house barbecue sauce and crowned with provolone, served with a choice of fries, tater tots, or hand-cut sweet potato chips and house-made coleslaw.