Visions of the Italian coastline flood in through faux archways painted on the walls at Scola’s Restaurant. While waiting for the main meal, guests can nibble on shrimp scampi and eggplant rollotini or settle a bitter arm-wrestling dispute once and for all. The chefs' classic Italian dishes include chicken cacciatore and shrimp piccata. There’s an ample seafood selection, too—steamed lobster, stuffed haddock, and broiled scallops—as well as a few American dishes, including a barbecue steak-tip dinner. Guests can also order up sandwiches such as a fried clam roll or meatball sandwich.
In addition stocking to an international assortment of wine and beer, the bartenders mix up martinis that range from classic cosmopolitans to the Starbucks martini, which combines Starbucks coffee liqueur and Stoli vanilla vodka within a chocolate-rimmed glass.
Premium Black Angus burgers, onion rings, and french fries are made fresh daily and fried in zero-trans-fat oil at Blue Angus Cafe. But those are only three of the many items on the eatery’s menu, which is packed with American cuisine. Each meal—whether it’s a plate of Angus meatballs topped with marinara sauce over ziti or classic grilled cheese—demonstrates the chefs’ care. The restaurant’s interior features carpeted flooring, a surplus of sunshine, padded booths and tables dotted with bright floral centerpieces, and vivid yellow flowers sprouting from the walls.
At Parker House Grille, guests choose their ambiance before they choose their dinner—the cozy, contemporary dining room, or the more casual pub where live music starts at 7:30 p.m. most Friday and Saturday nights. Seafood and steak rule the dinner menu, but there's also a handful of homier dishes, including roasted chicken, hand-rubbed baby-back ribs, and braised yankee pot roast dished with mashed potatoes and glazed carrots. For the lunch-and-pub menu, chefs assemble more than a dozen types of sandwiches, melts, and burgers beside a lineup of lightly-battered seafood options. In preparation for Monday-night trivia battles, patrons can sip martinis and wine as they quiz each other on questions such as, "Where was Elvis Presley born?" and "Soup or salad?"
Echoed by the Japanese lucky-cat statues and Chinese mountain wall art, Kashin Garden's pan-Asian specialties range from pad thai and tempura to fresh sushi. Chefs wok-toss morsels of meats, tofu, or shrimp and whip up specialties including rich duck and trios of chicken, shrimp, and beef, or scallop, shrimp, and calamari in crispy golden veggie nests. The sushi chefs craft rolls that encapsulate fresh yellowtail or spicy tuna more snuggly than the cold-blooded embrace of their mothers when they were wee roes. Characterized by soft lighting glowing from golden lamps and splashes of mosaic tiles, the lounge bar beckons patrons to kick back with a cocktail.
Combining two romantic gestures doesn't always work—it's hard to write a love letter in chocolate or hug someone while you're kissing their hand. However, Jennifer Dumais consolidates romantic gestures with great success when she bakes up cupcake bouquets that look like flowers in a vase with blooms of icing. She also sculpts and frosts customized cakes for any event, as evidenced by her gallery of edible art. Idiosyncratic cakes that resemble a tool belt or a gathering of jungle animals complement tiered wedding cakes, which can sport spiraling accents and actual flowers.
Jennifer and her staff prep a whole range of homemade confections, from fruit and cream pies to cinnamon chip cookies. Their impressive list of cake flavors covers classic tastes, such as chocolate and old-fashioned lemon, in addition to slices of pumpkin, white chocolate spice, and seasonal passion fruit. All these are available as cupcake flavors as well. Guests can even learn how to bake and decorate their own cupcakes during two-hour parties with optional add-ons such as photographers and goodie bags.