Upon entering Tuscany Ristorante, guests are greeted by the sweeping country landscapes that pepper the bright-yellow walls, evoking summers spent under the Tuscan sun, sipping wine and dancing the tarantella until the INS showed up. The warm interiors paired with crisp white linens and hardwood floors infuse the restaurant with a casual elegance to match its classic, flavorful fare. The chefs whip up rich Tuscan dishes, including hearty pasta; prime, dry-aged steaks; and decadent housemade desserts. Pasta and risotto entrees showcase carb sculptures such as the rich rigatoni boccelli, which, like any marble statue, comes doused in pancetta and light vodka sauce. As guests dine, they can indulge in a bottle of wine plucked from the floor-to-ceiling wine rack that lines the walls with rustic wood planks and elegantly displays hundreds of bottles.
As the heir apparent to three generations of cooks, Rose Foote’s decision to follow in their footsteps was no surprise. Her journey started when she worked at her parent’s restaurant at the age of 9, and it continued in 1995 with her catering service, and, eventually, a culinary tour throughout Tuscany. All of these influences can be found in her inventive breakfast, lunch, and brunch menus at Bella’s Café—Rose describes the resulting theme as “European roots with contemporary flair.” An illustrative example is the eggplant ciabatta, a unity of grilled eggplant, fire-roasted red peppers, gooey melted mozzarella, and spicy arrabbiatta sauce.
The food isn’t the only aspect of Bella’s Café that blends a classic European aesthetic with contemporary influences—the décor adheres to that theme. Burnt yellow hues give the walls a rustic look, and framed prints and paintings remind guests that they don’t have to sculpt their French toast into a bust of Napoleon playing with his food to see beautiful art.
The epicurean alchemists at The Asylum Cafe populate their menu with New York–style pizzas, pastas tossed with fresh tomato sauce, and thickly stacked sandwiches. An opening act of little neck clams simmered in white wine ($9.95) warm up the audience before a 14-ounce Angus rib eye shares the stage with garlic mashed potatoes ($24.95). On its way to becoming a lasagna pie laden with hamburger, ricotta, and parsley ($17 for small; $20 for large), pizza dough endures punches more stoically than a pillow auditioning to be the fourth Stooge.
Chef Andrea Tiberi?s skilled hands have cooked food for the pope and the president of Italy. After many years of success in Italy, Chef Andrea set up his kitchen in the United States, overseeing a team of more than 20 chefs, including pizza makers and a gelato master. The eatery?s menu pays homage to his roots, with prosciutto-layered umbrian flatbread sandwiches, handmade mozzarella cheese, lasagna bolognese, and margherita pizza. The chefs also pile mini pizzas, sandwiches, and gorgonzola-stuffed mushrooms onto platters for catered events such as birthday parties and tax audits.
Flavors from around the world mingle at Atlas Restaurant and Bar, where dishes inspired by the Middle East, Italy, America, and other countries share the spotlight on the menu. Chefs simmer sunny-side-up eggs in shakshuka’s spicy tomato sauce, and douse steamed Prince Edward Island mussels in house-made champagne sauce. They accompany the 12-ounce Atlas Steak with garlic mashed potatoes, and complement bronzini stuffed with zucchini and red peppers with artichoke tapenade. Like Houses of Parliament at the end of the day, Atlas’ back room transforms into a dance floor on Friday and Saturday nights, piping tunes from the 1970s and ‘80s through a powerful sound system.
From small, shareable plates of Italian-style tapas to pressed crispy paninis during lunch, the kitchen at Bocca Trattoria serves a menu of familiar Italian classics and American-influenced dishes. In the dining room, it's not uncommon to see couples gathering over bites of grilled shrimp or deciding whether to name their firstborn after the penne alla vodka or the gnocchi pesto. When it comes to classic pasta dishes, each noodle simmers alongside veggies, tender chicken, and freshly grated cheeses in perfectly matched sauces.