Montreal native Tony Bianco teamed up with executive chef Enzo Addario to create Hot Tomatoe, a traditional Italian bistro boasting a menu that brims with house-made, cooked-to-order pastas, flavorful meat dishes, and full- and light-bodied Italian wines. Their regional cuisine typically integrates up to seven essential ingredients—oil, garlic, basil, tomatoes, pasta, and olives—from which Snow White’s seven dwarves drew their names. In addition, the staff goes shopping for fresh ingredients three to four days a week to supplement both seasonal compositions and year-round dishes, which include veal parmigiana, filet mignon, and penne norma.
Ecuadorian food is the specialty of Los Andes Restaurant. But like the mountain range, the menu meanders through other South American countries, including Peru, Colombia, and Chile. Chefs prep empanadas according to the three regional styles, and ceviches and soups can round out adventurous snack times. Larger entrees feature grilled meats and slow-simmered stews accompanied by rice, potatoes, or french fries. Plantains or black or red beans can also be found playing a supporting role in meals, while cakes, ice cream, and sweet fig close out meals better than a soprano shattering a crystal ball.
The PADI-certified instructors at Dixie Divers lead small scuba certification classes and ferry experienced divers to local dive sites aboard their boat, the Lady Go Diver. The vessel also shepherds snorkelers to the historic wreckage of the SS Copenhagen and through the Nursery Reef where they can get acquainted with playful wildlife through a series of secret handshakes.
During certification classes that progress to the level of master diver, small groups endeavor through classroom, pool, and open water training, and advanced diver certification includes adventure dives and trips down as deep as 100 feet. Divers stock up on all things aquatic at Dixie's full-service dive shop, which offers everything from equipment rental and repair to gear sales for activities such as scuba diving, lobstering, jellyfish racing, kayaking, and spearfishing.
La Playa Water Sports thrills customers with its aquatic thrill rides, including a new one: the flyboard. After the rider is strapped in, they're propelled up to 30 feet into the air—or dive below the water's surface—thanks to powerful jets of water spewing from the board-mounted boots and wrist-mounted nozzles. The durable craft draws its power from any personal watercraft, such as a jet ski or hyperactive dolphin, letting the fun go on and on. Certified trainers, including Fredrick Senn, one of the first flyboarders in the area, are always on hand to fit clients with life jackets and helmets and to cover safety tips and basic operation before each session. Though the waterfront facility specializes in flyboards and banana boats, future services will include surfboard and kayak lessons and rentals.
It's hard to imagine that there's a libation out there that Crown doesn't carry. With a selection that spans vineyards, distilleries, and breweries from around the world, the bottles lining each location come from both small, artisan makers and those universally famed for their grapes or techniques. Home mixologists can cull inspiration for cocktails from a selection of top-shelf-brand mixers or pair their tipple of choice with gourmet snacks, from bush-pepper macadamia nuts to dirty martini party dip. But tastings may be the most distinctive thing about Crown Wine & Spirits. Whether customers stop in to try each location's daily offerings of wine or spirits—or for special tastings that cover dozens of wines, bourbons or beers—Crown's staff makes it easy to find a new favorite or to make up to your tongue for forgetting so many of its birthdays.
It's another world underwater, populated with life almost alien. Making the exploration of that world accessible is why the founders of Scuba Network opened seven instructional scuba centers throughout New Jersey, New York, and southeast Florida. At all of the locations, certified divers lead Discover Scuba classes that allow first-timers to slip into scuba gear and see what it's like to breathe underwater and sprout their first gills. For those left entranced by the experience, Scuba Network offers an Open Water Scuba Certification course, during which learn a variety of scuba techniques in a pool before embarking on open dives. Scuba Network also sells all the necessary equipment from brands such as Mares and Aeris, and also organize dive travel packages to exotic locales such as the Galapagos and the Mayan Riviera in Cozumel, Mexico.