Riverside Manor’s cooks craft a menu of upscale Italian dishes, each served to diners in a renovated nineteenth-century silk mill. Just as a trip to the bookie precedes little-league baseball games, so too must first courses such as chicken wings ($7) or clams oreganata ($8 lunch, $10 dinner) clear the way for a festive entrée. Classic dishes such as rigatoni alla vodka ($10 lunch, $12 dinner) and fettuccini carbonara ($12 lunch, $14 dinner) share space with more exotic fare, including a 10-oz. raw filet mignon served on a 750-degree volcanic stone ($24). A lineup of brick-oven pizzas teaches guests that, unlike pi, pies end, and libations such as red ($5–$13) and white ($5–$12) wines, domestic ($4) and imported ($5) beers, and martinis ($7–$11) accompany the succulent eats.
Janey Mac's Supper Club, which is located near no less than three universities, brings its menu of new Caribbean cuisine, soul food, and hearty country breakfast eats to students and food-appreciators of all walks of life. A dining room of understated elegance welcomes visitors to its sleek booths and votive-topped tables, illuminated by sparkling chandeliers and the gleam of rapidly moving forks. The hearty food gets an extra dose of soul when Janey Mac's welcomes live performers who serenade the lounge with R&B, jazz, and reggae.
At Biagio’s Ristorante, chef Jimmy Perides bakes individual pans of housemade lasagna and tosses imported and gluten-free pastas that earned the restaurant its Zagat rating. He puts his own mark on the menu with the steak ala chef, a new york sirloin steak crowned with cherry peppers, roasted garlic, and shitake mushrooms. Servers deliver wines from a selection of 50 handpicked bottles, which are often uncorked at seasonal tastings or splashed around at annual “wine fights.” The restaurant’s robust wine collection won it a 2010 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. A gurgling rock fountain stands at the entrance of the restaurant, welcoming patrons into the main dining area and adjacent wine room, and a flickering fireplace casts a warm glow over terracotta walls.
Between still life paintings hung on terracotta walls or in the shade of an awning, diners at Pasta e Pollo spear, twirl, and slice classic Italian entrees and pastas. True to its name, the eatery specializes in pasta and chicken. Specialty pasta dishes pair fettuccine with wild mushrooms and bacon, drench angel hair in veggie-laden pink sauce, and spangle linguine with red onions, capers, olives, and anchovies. Chicken breast is gussied up with combinations such as prosciutto, eggplant, and mozzarella. And because Pasta e Pollo is a BYOB restaurant, diners can bring their favorite wine from home or their favorite grape stomping coop.
Artful twists on classic recipes reign at Rose Valley Cafe and Grille. Charred octopus shares a plate with lentil salad and herbs. Grilled polenta pairs up with braised beef short ribs. Spicy avocado, pickled tomato, and ginger add a piquant flair to cured salmon. When the elegant meals draw to a close, customers' dessert-trowels dip into housemade ice cream and cheesecake, the varieties of which change daily, unlike the pope's fashion statements.