Delicate, black filigree forms a lacy aura around one of the dining-room doorways, resembling a wrought-iron gate. Across the room, a recessed archway frames a fireplace whose flame glows in harmony with the sconces on the green walls. This fusion of classical elegance with contemporary influences informs the menu, which comprises a mix of time-tested and innovative lunches and dinners.
Though contemporary Italian cuisine forms the menu's foundation, the restaurant also opens up its kitchen to Asian and American influences. Marbleized sauces join precarious sculptural arrangements to adorn plates with upscale panache. Valentino's specialties are long island duck, grouper marechiara, and a portobello appetizer, which can be enjoyed by themselves or as part of Valentino's three- or four-course dinner specials. Every single dessert, such as Anthony's bananas foster flamb?, is made from scratch on the premises. In fact, all flamb? desserts are seared right at the table, meaning guests can personally ensure their desserts' calories are burned. The restaurant features live music on Fridays.
When he cofounded his first sandwich shop in 1965, 17-year-old Fred DeLuca planned to use his profits to pay his way through medical school. But the combination of quality ingredients and friendly service at the shop—then called Pete's Subway—proved so popular that nine years later, he and his partner found themselves in charge of 16 locations across Connecticut, and Fred left behind his doctoring plans for a career in business.
Today, Subway serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and boasts more than 38,000 locations around the world—almost as many shops as there are sightings of Elvis buying cold cuts. At each location, staffers pile sliced ham, marinara-slathered meatballs, and other fillings into halved loaves of bread before customizing handhelds with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and other healthy toppings plucked from chilled containers behind the counter. Subway’s website also facilitates health-conscious eating by listing each item's nutritional information online.
What began in Brooklyn as a personal affection for italian ice eventually bloomed into a multistate confection empire on the strength of frosty family recipes. Uncle Louie G's Italian Ices & Ice Cream crafts its treats from the same recipes founder Louie G used growing up in New York City, before the invention of robot-run ice creameries. The expansive menu now includes more than 40 flavors of italian ices and two dozen ice creams. Fresh maraschino cherries, Dole pineapple, and a variety of other candies imbue the shop's italian ice with a dazzling array of flavors and textures.
At Sofra Turkish Cuisine, chefs pepper dishes with classic Turkish spices that imbue thinly sliced gyro and char-grilled lamb with intense flavor. Skewered meats and veggies populate the menu, along with shareable plates of hummus, falafel, and stuffed grape leaves. Inside the dining room, mauve walls meet exposed bricks for a rustic edge. Linen-topped tables are bedecked with copper vases that, when rubbed, produce a genie to help cut up your meat.
Yama Sushi Japanese Cuisine?s chefs touch all the bases with their classic Japanese dishes. They dunk pieces of deep-fried shrimp in hot soup for shrimp-tempura udon bowls; grill hibachi-style steak; and glaze chicken and beef with teriyaki sauce. Specialty sushi rolls pair white or brown rice with such ingredients as marinated tuna, thinly sliced jalape?os, eel, and fresh mango.
In Little Saigon on 9’s kitchen, Mama Sanh’s motherly instincts guide her as cooks southern Vietnamese food the same way she does at home: in small batches to ensure freshness. Her menu comforts empty stomachs with an array of pho with barbecue chicken, pork, or meatballs amid noodles, as well as curry soups and meat and seafood entrees served with jasmine rice or coconut sticky rice. Little Saigon on 9’s more than 20 flavors of bubble tea surprise taste buds with tapioca pearls hiding at the bottom of glasses.