Flour drifts down through the air, the motes catching briefly in the light from the wood-fired oven. Inside, fontina, smoked mozzarella, and ricotta melt across the handcrafted crusts, forming warm tributaries of cheese. Nearby, chefs sprinkle fistfuls of broccoli rabe, prosciutto, cherry tomatoes, and eggplant onto fresh dough or stew san marzano tomatoes to craft a thick sauce the deep crimson color of a sports car that just discovered it left a hair curler in. The cooks look to traditional Neapolitan recipes and forge crusts from a simple combination of flour, yeast, water, and salt. In an effort to protect the environment, the staff at Red Tomato Pizza?from the same owners as Dortoni Bakery in Levittown and Messina Market in East Norwich?also serves hormone-free meat in the glow of gentle LED lights and uses recycled glassware.
Giant copper kettles overlook the dining room at Sono Brewhouse Restaurant, glinting in the light that shines over ornate railings, exposed brick walls, and a colorful collection of flags. Shipped to the United States from a brewery in Germany, these kettles infuse the restaurant with a sense of history and spark visitors? curiosity about the world?s many beer-brewing nations. Bartenders fan these flames of intrigue by serving drafts of Paulaner Hefe-Weizen from Germany and bottles of Rochefort Trappist ale from Belgium and Innis & Gunn oak-aged ale from Scotland.
To complement these globe-trekking brews, chefs forge hearty New England-style and international entrees, such as lobster pot pie, Argentine gaucho steak with chimichurri, and wiener schnitzel accompanied by potato pancakes. They explore even more of the world?s finest during Sunday brunch, which teems with Italian chicken picatta, Chinese dim sum, and Viennese treats crafted by pastry chef Fran Schuelke. For private events, guests can choose from a variety of buffets, meat-carving stations, and raw bars brimming with freshly shucked oysters and clams.
Blue Cactus Grill's fleet of efficient chefs zest, sear, and sizzle bold southwestern cuisine in the restaurant's cozy, unassuming interior. Chomp down or break in bibs with one of Blue Cactus' juicy philly cheesesteaks, such as the Tucson Monster, an authentic meaty morsel heaped with chili, bacon, charred jalapeno, and melted cheese ($8.95). A panoply of robust wraps zing taste buds, including the West Texas Cajun wrap,—which bear-hugs its peppy fan base of grilled chicken, seasoned rice, and black beans ($7.95). Blue Cactus tops off its menu with customizable salads ($6.95+) and fresh burgers, such as the Five Napkin Burger, anchored with a savory mound of chipotle barbecue sauce, melted cheddar, and crisp onion rings ($7.95).
Each of Pasta Nostra's pizzas begins with hand-stretched dough, fresh, house-made tomato sauce, and a hearty helping of mozzarella cheese. From there, the possibilities are vast: square Sicilian or round, thin New York-style crust, pesto or white sauce, and topping choices that include prosciutto, roasted red peppers, and asparagus. Just like snowflakes, pasta mixed with ricotta, sausage, and seafood comes in eight different shapes, and focaccia bread clasps sizzling fillings in a slate of paninis. In keeping with the restaurant's spirit of options and inclusivity, Pasta Nostra especially welcomes families with a kids' menu and family-style dinners.
The soups, salads, and wraps made at Naked Greens may arrive at the table as quickly as they would at any other fast-food restaurant, but the process to get them there is vastly different. The cooks pluck most of their all-natural and often raw ingredients from the bounty of local sources, ensuring all meats are free of hormones and antibiotics. They help patrons customize their orders by providing a bevy of fresh greens, veggies, fruits, meats, cheeses, and embellishments such as candied walnuts to build their salads and wraps. They also serve every meal in 100% recyclable material, which quells the rumblings of the angry earth gods.
Meat and veggies surrounded by bread seems like such a simple combination, almost not noteworthy, until you read the menu at The Original Yeeros at Merrittview. The store specializes in gyros (which it spells phonetically, yeeros). Its take on the classic Greek sandwich comes in traditional, chicken, or vegetarian falafel varieties. But that's hardly the only sandwich variety it serves. There are also health-conscious wraps made with Boar's Head meats, hamburgers and cheeseburgers, and an extensive breakfast menu served all day long for those who live in their own personal time zone.