Head chef Paul Desiano remembers Sundays spent in his grandmother's kitchen as a child, helping her to prepare pasta dinners by picking vegetables from the garden and rolling meatballs by hand. Although he went on to study at The Art Institute of New York City and work in New York restaurants, he never forgot the childhood dinners that first kindled his passion for cooking. Now joined in the kitchen by his wife, Ai, Paul oversees Cello's menu, which adds modern, international influences to classic Italian dishes.
Paul and his chefs utilize freshly rolled pastas, savory meatballs, and prosciutto to evoke the flavors of seasonal Italian cuisine, but they also incorporate chorizo, torched red-snapper sashimi, and other ingredients that stray from Mediterranean traditions. In addition to its house-made limoncello, the restaurant also features crisp white wines and robust reds from vineyards on both sides of the equator and at every layer of the Earth's crust. Though the list includes wines from around the world, it emphasizes Italian varietals in particular.
In 1983 Nord Brue and Mike Dressell decided that it didn't matter how far Burlington, Vermont was from New York City; no distance was too great to limit their access to New York-style bagels. So they spent 2.5 years apprenticing with a professional bagel baker from the city until they mastered the technique. Once they were comfortable with their skills and had accepted that it doesn't actually hurt the bagel to bite it, they opened their first Bruegger's Bagels, a casual bakery and café. Today, they have more than 300 eateries across the United States and Canada, each hawking freshly baked bagels, cream cheeses, sandwiches, coffee, and desserts.
The experienced chefs at Sentrista sear and sizzle a variety of mastication masterpieces ranging from steaks and sandwiches to seafood selections. Explore the tasty pastures of the lunch menu, which is filled with sandwiches, such as the chicken parmigiana ($6.95) and the quarter-pound cheeseburger ($6.95), as well as midday versions of dinnertime favorites. The dinner menu tests hypothalamus gland's ability to control hunger and fight off preentree naps with appetizers including classic or buffalo style crispy calamari ($10.95) or Maryland-style crab cakes served with house-made rémoulade ($10.95). Orifice-dwelling canines can bark furiously before chomping on unadulterated slabs of protein, such as the sizzlin' NY strip ($19.95 12 oz.; $23.95 16 oz.) and filet mignon ($19.95 8 oz.; $25.95 12 oz.), or on an oceanic treat such as lobster mac 'n' cheese (starting at $12.95) or grilled salmon ($23.95). The eatery also houses a full bar that showcases an expansive wine list and more than 25 domestic and imported beers, great for washing down a hearty meal on the outdoor patio or soothing mouths after a fire-swallowing seminar.
Grilling within the walls of a historic firehouse, the culinary artists at Two Steps utilize an assorted palette of fresh ingredients to create an imaginative menu of American cuisine with colorful splashes of Southwestern, Caribbean, and Cajun influences. A pitcher of Coors Light ($12) quells the fires of the sweet and spicy Jamaican jerk chicken ($13.95) served with rice pilaf and fresh vegetables, while the grilled filet mignon ($18.95) provides elegance to an empty stomach like a Victorian armoire in a college dorm room. See the full menu online for more details and prices.
Founded back in 1977 by the progenitor of Atari and Pong, Chuck E. Cheese’s continues to entertain families with prize arcades, rides, and animatronic musical performances while lining bellies with signature pizza pies. Large pizzas crafted with 100% real cheese and signature sauce shell out 12 slices topped in a choice of meat such as pepperoni or sausage or classic veggies such as green pepper or mushrooms. While chomping on a triangle, guests glue their eyes to the stage for an animatronic variety show featuring Chuck himself as well as vocalist Helen Henny and the string-slapping strums of hound dog Jasper T. Jowls. Refueled kiddies jog into the arcade for ticket-spurting video games and simulator rides as tinier tots climb through Skytubes in the Toddler Zone. After a day of gaming, guests redeem their mounds of tickets at the prize counter for plush animals and retired game tokens featuring our nation's favorite former cartoon presidents.
The Mad Hatter Restaurant and Tap Room piles plates with hat-themed burgers and ample entrees of bistro cuisine. The Stetson burger slathers onion rings and cheddar cheese with barbecue sauce ($8.95), whereas the Top Hat burger outfits its 6-ounce patty with layers of candied bacon, cheddar, and veggies ($8.95) before scooting up to a side of hand-cut fries. Guests can launch meals with a trebuchet in the parking lot or opt to order starters such as deep-fried cheese ravioli ($5.95). Bread and a small house salad herald the arrival of every entree, including the pan-seared market-fresh whitefish with mango salsa ($14.95) and the double-stuffed pork chops ($14.95), which stow a blend of bread crumbs, sausage, and herbs in their savory clasp.