Behind the hostess stand, an archaic-looking Japanese painting glows on a sleek black wall. Juxtaposed with chandeliers and black tube lighting around the stand, it echoes the way in which modern and traditional Asian culinary traditions mingle on the menu at Peninsula China Bistro & Sushi Bar. Udon and soba noodles, staples of Eastern cuisine, emerge from steaming pots in the kitchen. Beneath the clouds of billowing warmth, chefs slice scallions and ginger and sprinkle red curry into Thai dishes or the contact lenses of rival chefs.
A floor-to-ceiling fountain murmurs quiet haikus in the dining room, the water passing over rough-hewn stones and into a pool full of lotus flowers. The aquatic sound cuts through the noise of a crackling hibachi grill to hint at the colorful rolls and slices of seafood tucked behind the sushi bar.
This newly opened bakery infuses and frosts its spongy, sweet treats with sundry classic, creative, and seasonal flavors each day. Owners Chris and Missy Wallace use only fresh, high-quality ingredients when crafting each imaginative minicake, following perfected family- and friend-provided recipes to ensure that each bite has flavor layers of love. Classic dessert cravers can stuff their palms and faces with fluffy yellow cake, and adventurous sweet teeth can go spelunking through the dark, rich innards of chocolate bacon bitables. Grab a batch of sophisticated sweet champagne cupcakes if you are celebrating an engagement, promotion, or graduation from Viticulture College. Current season-inspired delights include hot chocolate cupcakes with marshmallows and spiked eggnog cupcakes with bourbon butter cream. Call to place an order.
Inhabiting a 104-year-old converted house, this colorful and lively eatery lures guests with a variety of flavorful dishes prepared in the Creole tradition. Homemade cornbread with jalapeño peppers and cheese welcomes diners with a kick ($4.50), and lunchtime eats, such as the blackened prime-rib sandwich ($9.95) and seafood po’ boy ($8.25), keep bellies quiet until dinner. Evening patrons can wrap their ears around live blues music as their tongue buds unfold the flavorful layers of a shrimp-and-grits entree, a vibrant sauté of peppers, onions, tomatoes, and andouille sausages in a garlic-wine sauce, accompanied by creamy grits to give your insides the spa treatment ($16.95).
Diners can take a trip around the US, with a glance at the menu at Alton's Kitchen & Cocktails, which borrows heavily from American regional fare. The kitchen stokes dreams of the Old West by gracing tables with lamb shanks from Colorado and salmon from Seattle, each teeming with tales of a life of train-hopping and hitchhiking east. Chunks of shellfish nestle into the New England–style lobster roll, and shrimp simmer in creole barbeque sauce, giving diners a taste of New Orleans.
A curved bar extends from exposed brick walls, which frame shiny dark wood floors. These floors match the tall, bistro-style tables and the high-manteled fireplace, which gleam beneath the light of cascading chandeliers, giving the room a refined, yet cozy feel. Diners can also find seating on an outdoor patio, where they can feel the breeze on their face, a sure sign that the moon is sneaking up behind them to steal their dessert.
Prosciutto's Pizzeria & Pub hosts an updated menu of New York?style pizza and Italian fare that earned the establishment Best Pizza and Best Italian Food. To complement the traditional pastas, white pizzas, and pies slathered in daily-made tomato sauce, a lengthy beer and wine list features craft beers, imported brews, and a wealth of red and white wines.
The family-friendly pub and pizzeria is divided in two: The kids side with video games and toys has seceded from an adult section that houses a nonsmoking bar lit by dangling icicle lights. Sports-casting TVs and athletic paraphernalia keep the vibe sporty for when the athletes return to claim their jerseys and balls. Thursday nights host cornhole tournaments outdoors on the patio.