It took 750 bottles of wine, 500 pounds of fruit, 63 liters each of brandy and triple sec, and a hearty helping of simple syrup for Ceviche to make history. At its first Sangria Fest, as reported by World Record Academy, the restaurant's staff brought together these ingredients to make a one-ton version of its trademark house sangria, and set a Guinness World Record in the process.
This tendency to think big shows up in more places than their giant, festive pitcher. A wine list that enters the triple-digits, page after page of small plates with huge flavors, ceviche with octopus, and exuberant (and cover-charge free) live music events that run the gamut from reggae to flamenco all point to Ceviche's tendency to bring the unexpected to life. The bodega-style lounge is decorated with wine-red accent walls and hardwoods.
D'Angelo Trattoria's chef, Enrico Esposito, adheres closely to tradition. He's modeled his eatery after classic Neopolitan trattorias, and he loves rustic family recipes that have withstood the test of time—so much so that he hasn't modernized the baking process for his Neopolitan pizzas. Crowned with toppings from arugula to Parma prosciutto, they're still baked in a wood-burning stove.
The eatery's venue, a bungalow home from the 1930s, is as time-honored as its recipes. The wine cellar houses more than 1,000 bottles, each vintage hand-picked by Chef Enrico. Diners can order their vino by the glass, the quartino, the bottle, or, for an extra-festive night, by the wine-filled pinata.
Palm trees and flower boxes create a verdant border around Café Loredana, transforming the eatery’s second-story patio into a private enclave. Inside this 100-year-old Victorian building, sunlight streams through lace curtains and illuminates hardwood floors and canary-yellow walls. The timeless elegance of these surroundings inspires chefs to assemble a menu of equally classic Italian dishes. They toss fresh seafood and tender pastas with complex sauces infused with wine, citrus, and herbs, and they melt mozzarella cheese over lightly breaded cutlets of veal. The restaurant also boasts an extensive wine list punctuated by Italian chiantis, pinot noirs, and fermented umlauts.
Boasting a wide array of sandwiches, E&J's Sandwich Shop specializes in sandwiches and hoagies lined with genoa salami, capicola, roasted peppers, and homemade meatballs parmesan. They use deli meats to create cold hoagies such as the Classic, which features turkey, roast beef, and smoked bacon layered with a choice of toppings such as banana peppers, oil and vinegar, and mustard. But for their hot items, they either grill the entire sandwich whole as in the cuban panini or serve it with jus as in the french dip. To complement their sandwiches, they offer deli pickles, coleslaw, and giant cookies fresh from the oven.
The frock fixers at Aloha Dry Cleaners, established in 1964, cleanse garments onsite using environmentally friendly dry-cleaning processes. They also perfect alterations for all garments ranging from draperies and upholstery to dresses and suits. The 13 trained staff members help to preserve wedding gowns and keep everyday wear stain-free. As a courtesy to their customers and community, they clean any American flag or stuffed animal for free, so long as teddy bears are registered to vote.
The three men behind Park Tavern have been partners in arms for more than eight years. Their friendship began when Brian Albe and Brandon Belluscio tended bar at the restaurant where Anthony Pizzo manned the kitchen. Soon the symbiotic team broke out on their own, opening the wine bar Vertical 114 and the steak house Cut 432 before realizing their third venture together, Park Tavern.
The seasonal menu centers on locally procured fare, with veggies arriving at the kitchen so fresh that their roots are still intact. Signature dishes include the tavern burger, made from house-ground short rib and sirloin before being topped with locally grown tomatoes and onions. Each order of barbecue ribs is paired with a housemade buttermilk biscuit and green-apple-jalapeño chutney, which marries sweetness with spice as seamlessly as a donut maker whose custard gun is filled with wasabi.
The from-scratch mentality carries through to the specialty drinks, some of which are served in mason jars and cooled by just one large ice cube. The oversize cubes, frozen and shaped in house, melt more slowly than smaller squares, keeping flavors fresh and undiluted for longer. Fresh-squeezed juices complement drinks such as the Strawberry Fields of Kentucky—made with Tap 357 maple-infused bourbon, strawberry jam, and fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
Rustic decor completes the Park Tavern experience, with exposed brick walls and a stained concrete bar top. The American flag on the rear wall was painted by one of the staff bartenders, who also salvaged the wood paneling from pallets. Extensive outdoor seating offers the opportunity for up to 125 guests to share the same french fry.