Antonio's Italian Ristorante stuffs hungry stomachs with pastas, pizzas, strombolis, a variety of wines, and other authentic Italian dishes. Guests can commence a journey through the expansive menu with an appetizer of pepperoni-and-mozzarella-stuffed bread sticks ($4.50). After properly preparing the palate, culinary matchmakers can try an entree of chicken stromboli, a mélange of grilled-chicken-breast strips, tomatoes, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese snugly enveloped by fresh pizza dough ($6.95). A disk jam-packed with mozzarella, parmesan, feta, prosciutto, fresh basil, olive oil, and thinly sliced tomatoes takes shape as the prosciutto and pomodoro pizza ($14.99), like a popular rock band forming from a throng of bored investment bankers.
The terms “coward” and “brave” are neither insults nor compliments at Bangkok Place Thai Restaurant; rather, they signify the level of spiciness a customer can handle. Chef Keo Phannavong and his wife Ann helm the casual eatery, where Keo brings 20 years of experience—and a slew of his mother’s recipes—to the kitchen. Using fresh ingredients, such as basil leaves, lemon grass, coconut milk, and chili, the master chef concocts a wide range of authentic Thai dishes that pack as little or as much spice as the patron desires or can trick his date into eating. The restaurant offers familiar Thai favorites, such as pad thai and tom yum soup, as well as some more obscure entrees, such as pla jien—a steamed fish topped with ginger and baby corn.
The hardwood lanes of Country Club Lanes invite amateurs and pros alike to wreak havoc on unsuspecting pins seven nights a week. The alley features bumpers for younger athletes and hosts special glow bowling for those looking to mix up their game or discover new T-shirt lint constellations under the shine of black lights. Strike after strike, spare after spare, players can refuel at the onsite snack stand, which distributes ice-cold refreshments and lighter handheld fare.
The culinary gurus at Charlie's Butcher Block satisfy protein-seeking palates with full meals of fresh-cut meats. The barbecue chicken or beef meal topples scales with five pounds of certified Miller Amish chicken or Hereford beef, complete with 12 buns to feed the hearty hungers of tailgaters, families, or the Wu-Tang Clan. Buckets of fried chicken delight poultry lovers with four oven-fried chicken breasts and four crispy chicken legs or thighs.
Samuel Mancino's Italianate empire extends throughout the Midwest, each outpost stocked with a menu of fresh-baked grinders and pizzas loaded with hearty ingredients. A troika of ham, hard salami, and spicy italian sausage powers the signature italian grinder ($6.49 for an 8"), spurred on to its task of filling bellies by green pepper, onion, and melted mozzarella. Mancino's chefs toss dough by hand to give it a fluffy texture and one bittersweet taste of freedom before it meets its fate as a foundation for pizzas laden with fresh, gourmet toppings such as chicken and garlic, or ham, bacon, and pineapple ($15.99+ for a large). For dessert, piping-hot breadsticks return in sugary eveningwear as sweet Cinna-Stix ($5.99).