Chefs at Crepe Delicious swirl paper-thin layers of batter onto their piping-hot crepe griddles, perfuming the air with the enticing aroma. Shortly after, the cooks lift away delectable crepes ready to be stuffed with savoury ingredients. The crepes themselves weigh in at only about 130 calories each with just 3.5 grams of fat, but they sate appetites during any meal.
Casa Mendoza's chefs plate a multiterrestrial menu of succulent steaks, fresh seafood, and packed pasta plates. Warm up palates with an order of the marinated-and-battered calamari, which gracefully swan dives into homemade Cajun mayonnaise ($9.95). A redolent cape of fresh garlic, herbs, and chimichuri sauce swathes the 10-ounce new york strip loin ($27.95), which busies forks and knives and instills jealousy in spoons. A heaping surf 'n' turf platter combines a fillet of beef tenderloin with sumptious broiled rock-lobster tail ($44.95), and the homemade gnocchi doubles as plush pillows for fresh lobster meat and rests under a hand-crocheted blanket of Dungeness-crab cream sauce ($21.95).
At Kingsway Fish & Chips, clients net fresh fish and homemade desserts prepared by four generations of family members from an eclectic menu. Fresh Alaskan halibut, hand-filleted in-house and bathed in a light English-style batter, joins forces with freshly chipped Ontario potatoes to fulfill a family recipe ($11.39; $10.39 with haddock). Six ounces of grilled rainbow trout lounges alongside a bed of rice or fries ($14.49), and seafood chowder and lobster bisque ($4.49–$5.49) keep stomachs as warm as Moby Dick's sauna. For dessert, butter tarts ($2.49) and old-fashioned rice pudding ($3.99) sweeten palates, and domestic and imported beer and wine keep diners hydrated between bites and comparisons of squid-calling technique. Large parties gather amid colourful booths, high-backed chairs, and walls sconces in the restaurant’s recently renovated, 110-seat space.
Continuing the restaurant's more than 50 year history, the chefs at Latina Ristorante skillfully craft a menu of house-made pasta, meat offerings, and seafood dishes. The culinary crew greets diners with bruschetta ($4.95), which loads olive oil, basil, and tomato onto garlic bread ready for teeth to nibble into a replica of Italy's go-go-boot-shaped peninsula. Grilled chicken and sundried tomatoes weave into penne gorgonzola ($14.95), and forks dive into the noodle-filled depths of linguine alla marinella ($18.95) to pierce shrimp, crab, and scallops blanketed by a rose sauce. Vitello penata ($18.95) holds a dance atop taste buds to bring the flavours of meaty veal medallions, cream, and pine nuts in close contact, and the gamberi alla griglia ($18.95) rests grilled shrimp, lemon, and herbs over a bed of rice. Wall sconces cast a soft glow over the dining area's textured walls, and white tablecloths offer patrons the perfect canvas for crafting a noodle-based self-portrait.
Longrain's chefs use only natural ingredients as they craft Thai dishes in traditional and fusion styles. Without using MSG, they season dishes ranging from mango chicken to roasted duck ginger, starting to prepare them right when the customer orders to ensure the best taste and avoid the complicated effects of time-travelling dishes in from the future.
Ristorante Luci creates Italian fare with a classica flair and serves it within a warm, intimate atmosphere. Like the color of a slovenly roommate's sweatpants, the menu changes with the seasons, as the ristorante works with as many Minnesota-based farmers as possible to stock its larder with fresh, flavorful ingredients. Prepare for piquant pasta with a curtain-raiser such as the sautéed green beans ($10), partnered with an organic chopped egg and a dabbling of truffle oil. The fusilli alla Luci ($11) mingles its corkscrew pasta with grilled chicken, broccoli, and a garnish of red-pepper flakes. For something meatier, try the dish that's synonymous with Italy—slow-braised New Zealand lamb shank ($16)—which melts in mouths before unleashing stores of tomato and rosemary flavor. Schemes to get one's Iowan cousin crowned King of Malaysia are best concocted over a capper of homemade desserts, coffees, and cappuccinos.