Now in its third year in business, The Rat Pack Cafe couples classic American fare with an homage to the Rat Pack greats, paying tribute through music, murals, and a hearty menu. Lunchtimers can overwhelm waves of hunger with freshly made specialty sandwiches, ranging from the Political Peter, properly dressed with white tuna, melted american cheese, and a tomato slice woven into a USA tie, to the Chairman of the Board's kaiser roll overflowing with layers of fresh italian roast beef drizzled in handmade bistro sauce. Thwart sandwich stealers with the infamous Copa Room's namesake salad, a lineup of crisp bacon, black olives, hard-boiled egg, and chicken breast lounging on a bed of organic mixed greens. A fountain drink, such as Coke or Sprite, rounds out afternoon meals along with a homemade cookie of choice, served up in black and white, red icing, or danish-shortbread forms. If screaming sweet tooths rebel against lunchtime savories, diners can opt to ditch the main dish and snatch up one dozen jumbo-sized cupcakes baked in one tooth-soothing flavor instead.
The Rat Pack Cafe's red and yellow dining room greets eaters with '60s-esque furnishings and flat-screen TVs. Guests can craft up a cup of joe at the self-service coffee bar backdropped by football-size coffee-bean wallpaper, or tuck away in the corner lounge, filled with black leather couches, plush red carpeting, and a step-by-step mural of the Rat Packers performing secret handshakes.
In 1988, Auntie Anne's founders Anne and Jonas Beiler purchased a Pennsylvania farmers'-market stand, where they experimented with dough until they created a pretzel that seemed to strike the perfect chord with their customers. Today, at their more than 1,350 locations worldwide, the pretzel makers still hand roll the original recipe but have added to the menu with inventive options such as the eight signature dipping sauces. The team constantly explores new uses for the pretzel dough, such as wrapping it around hot dogs and slicing it into bite-size nuggets. To transform the snack into a meal, they accompany it with specialty drinks, including frozen-lemonade desserts.
When not twisting dough, Auntie Anne's team partners with the national charitable organization Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. Auntie Anne's also reaches out to the community through fundraising opportunities.
Caffe Gelato sates appetites with Northern Italian and French- and Mediterranean-inspired fare, house-made gelato, and vino from a 1,500-bottle cellar, all of which has amassed the restaurant an impressive collection of praise and awards from the likes of Delaware Today and Wine Spectator. Meats such as filet mignon and prosciutto-wrapped veal appear alongside a rotating collection of seafood entrees, such as pan-seared scallops, truffle maple-roasted salmon, and local line-caught rockfish. House-made pappardelle and linguine pastas entangle ingredients ranging from littleneck clams to lump crab to chiffonade-cut basil. Twenty-four rotating flavors of gelato are crafted on the restaurant’s premises, delighting tongues with a chocolate-hazelnut blend or scoops of raspberry. Sommeliers strap on their headlamps and crampons to belay into the caverns of the restaurant’s opulent wine cellar, where more than 100 varietals nestle in bottles.
Half-moon booths welcome companionable groups among sunny yellow-and-red-orange walls in the dining room, and the gleam of a granite bar inspires tipplers to toast the memory of loyal pet rocks.
One glance at the Volcano roll and you know why it was bestowed with such a name. Clusters of fried tuna, crabmeat, and cucumber form a pyramid with bright red roe at its peak and spicy sauce oozing down the sides. This isn’t the only creative endeavor of Kenny's Pan Asian Cuisine & Sushi Bar. Each of the eatery’s Chinese, Thai, and Japanese meals seems to be transformed into visually enticing masterpieces. Even, the spicy mama pizza—which consists of a tortilla-chip base laden with tuna and a latticework of sauces—looks like, well, a pizza.
But the masterminds behind Kenny’s menu don’t just stop there. Inside the contemporary restaurant, a black-topped bar sidles alongside high-backed bar chairs and dining-room tables receive a backdrop of rich, red and golden-orange walls. Modern metal sculptures, affixed with sporadically positioned lights, cast luminous glows across indulging diners as Asian-inspired paintings provide a solid canvas for creating midmeal shadow puppets.