The bakers at Delish Custom Cakes & Sweets cultivate more than 20 flavours of cupcake, and take care to coat each in colourful homemade icing and decorations. The PB&J cupcake transforms the preferred lunch of Fortune 500 CEOs into a delectable dessert, culling strawberry or raspberry jam filling into a vanilla cake crowned in peanut butter buttercream. Other varietals such as the mint chocolate, chocolate peanut butter cup, and rocky road shrink-zap tried-and-true flavours into cuter, smaller forms. Take the tiny cakes to go or lounge casually inside the eatery while spying on larger desserts custom adorned for weddings and other events with intergenerational dancing.
Santo’s Resto Lounge isn’t for kids. Perhaps it’s the intense flavors of Italian dishes, or maybe it’s the internal betting lounge that keeps the eatery at an age minimum of 18. Either way, the delicate balance of ingredients in executive chef Dean Jossen’s food makes a good case for its careful, thoughtful consumption. Chef Jossen and his team work each day to prepare signature 12-inch pizzas and pasta-packed entrees accompanied by housemade sauces, breads, dips, and dressings that are evocative of the restaurant’s Little Italy location. Shareable plates such as steamed mussels and three-cheese nachos also give dining companions reasons to pass their dishes around as they sip from a selection of wines and beers.
The restaurant closed temporarily in December 2011 for remodeling, reopening with a backlit bar and casual-style seating by design of passionate new owner Wally Ichtay, who now makes it a point to come out and greet customers and inform them of the strength of their handshakes.
Noodle Maker temps taste buds with authentic Japanese and Chinese dishes and spirited interpretations of Thai, Korean, and Indian concoctions. Ignite an evening outing with Korean pickled cabbage, otherwise known as spicy kimchi ($2), or play a quick game of telephone with a braised sliced pig ear ($3.99). The classic ramen bowls bubble between a choice of light miso broth or butter soya soup and delicately engulf the likes of teriyaki chicken ($8.50), tsuke tofu steak ($11), and grilled onion pork tenderloin ($8.50). Shrimp, barbecued pork, and seasonal Chinese vegetables reclaim the three-sided star from Mercedes-Benz in wor wonton ($9), and the spicy neu rou mein ($9.50) elegantly assembles beef brisket and tendon with Shanghai noodles in a five-spice braising broth. Noodle Maker's cultural rice bowls blend flavours from East and Central Asia with such Epicurean delights as butter goat curry ($10), Thai basil shrimp ($11), and bi-bim-bap ($10), a Korean bowl filled with beef, cucumber, a sunny side up egg, rice, kimchi, and eight maids a-milking.
Early Bird Cafe's chefs rouse appetites with an expansive menu of classic eats that spans breakfast, lunch, dinner, and forgotten sleepwalking stop-ins. They quickly whip up hearty omelettes, meaty gourmet burgers, and sweet waffles to sate breakfast and lunch cravings every day, and burn the post-noon oil to satisfy the dinner crowd with juicy steaks and baked Italian classics.
Each day staff members at Pazzo Pazzo Italian Cuisine fill the chalkboard with specials from chef and owner James Burns's stovetop. Burns sharpened his culinary skills working under restaurateur and stepfather Nello Saporito at Il Pasticcio before striking out to open his own restaurant, according to a glowing 2011 review in the Edmonton Sun. Inside his kitchen, Burns pan-sears jumbo tiger prawns in butter and garlic and marinates quail in cognac, creating scents that waft toward the dining room to influence orders. Pasta specials tossed in his specialty housemade sauces include gnocchi, spaghetti, and jumbo shells stuffed with ricotta and spinach. His maître d’, entertains diners with banter while checking on Alaskan king crab and gluten-free entrees and offering wine suggestions from the extensive list. Indoors, black linen tablecloths contrast with white cloth napkins and bright red sauces, and outdoors, the renovated patio offers additional seating for al fresco dining.