At Salento Restaurant, his second BYOB venture, chef Davide Faenza draws on his roots in the region of Puglia, on the heel of the Italian boot, to fill a menu of authentic Italian fare. Home to “some of the finest raw ingredients in Italy,” according to a 2007 Philadelphia Weekly review, Puglia is known for its fresh seafood and simple pasta dishes. At Salento, servers carry in homemade gnocchi, sautéed fish filets, and other entrees that do justice to this tradition. After popping the last golden raisin from a balsamic-glazed chicken breast, guests can admire the dining room's glowing chandeliers, blue velvet curtains, and enormous mirror reflecting hungry pizza-delivery boys peeking in the front windows.
At Felt, the satisfying clack of billiard balls rings out, conjuring the spirit of Minnesota Fats as players take aim during games held at one of 23 tables. Whether practicing trick shots at a 7-foot Valley pool table, settling bets at a full-size 9-foot table from Gold Crown or Diamond, or pretending to understand how the British think at the lone snooker table, players fuel their competitive spirit with food and drink from the hall’s bar and kitchen. Half-pound deep-fried chimichangas and all-day breakfast spreads complement draft beers drawn from one of 10 taps or cocktails mixed using spirits from well-stocked racks of liquor. As players munch or sip, they also feed their minds with the highlights that flicker forth from the bar’s flat-screen TVs.
The Copper Pot?s name is inspired, in part, by the great American metaphor of the melting pot in that its menu represents a hodgepodge of classic American dishes such as meatloaf and chicken-fried steak. Some of these recipes have been tweaked and reinvented such as the baked mac 'n' cheese with shrimp and the fish 'n' chips with panko beer batter. Inside the restaurant, staffers attempt to cultivate a neighborhoody vibe, getting to know their clients instead of just yelling "Norm" as people walk in the door.
1950s ephemera decorate Gunther Toody's eight Colorado locations, lending an extra boost of Americana to plates of classic diner food such as burgers and meatloaf. The menu even draws its inspiration from American pop culture of yore, with Elvis fries, burgers named for Howdy Doody, and Big Bopper breakfasts served on platters of chantilly lace. Classic ice-cream treats including shakes, malteds, and black cows help lead each meal to a suitably sweet conclusion.
Street-style tacos and quesadillas. Earthy tamales. Gorditas overflowing with fixings. These are just a few of the many dishes at Jalapenos, an unassuming eatery that cooks up made-to-order authentic Mexican cuisine daily. Jalapenos’ diners can savor their delectable entrees inside the restaurant or pull into the drive-thru on their way home or to a Bring Your Own Burrito party.
Damascus Grill's culinary maestros conduct a flavorful symphony of authentic Middle Eastern dishes composed from family recipes and fresh ingredients. Dining duos can peruse the lengthy menu of made-from-scratch delicacies before putting hands or retired snow shovels to work with an appetizer of hummus mutabbal infused with garlic and olive oil, or fried stuffed kibbi packed with ground meat and nuts. Skewers of marinated scallops, shrimp, and salmon morsels politely mingle in the seafood combo, and tender slices of lamb assist rice in filling a pita pocket to its 50-gallon capacity. Vegetarians can sink their unnecessarily sharp incisors into moussaka, a flavorful blend of eggplant, green peppers, and onions baked and served with an entourage of rice and hummus.