Papaya Restaurant?s Asian dishes play with a range flavors to appease all taste buds. The freshly caught fish of the day is simmered in a spicy curry coconut sauce and drizzled with roasted red-pepper relish. A spicy-sweet basil sauce coats udon noodles, while pork chops are paired with spicy green beans and umeboshi plum sauce.
Just as the menu combines different styles of Asian cookery, the restaurant?s aesthetic plays with textures and materials. Exposed ductwork in industrial gray meets soft taupe walls. Wooden boards woven through metal bars serve as a modern partition between diners, and cable-threaded railings line the front of the dining area. Lime-green lighting illuminates the bar, where dangling starburst lights emit a red glow over plates of sushi rolls stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes, tempura shrimp, or seared steak or that day's elegant sashimi presentation.
When it comes to wine, David and Tasia Verno follow the same philosophy as Goldilocks: Why settle for one when you could try three? Trios of wines from across the world are thus a mainstay of their menu at Flight Wine Bar. These samplers come with themed names—Instant Zen and California Retreat, for example—and incorporate wines from Italy, Chile, France, and Germany in addition to the United States. There's the Bubbly Flight for sparkling wine enthusiasts, the alluring scents of Aroma Therapy, and Sweet Emotion, which matches a Red Newt riesling with a Bigi Orvieto Classico and an Elmo Pio moscato.
Of course, Flight Wine Bar also has wines available by the glass or bottle. In addition, the staff furnishes tables with artisanal snacks. Guests can order imported cheeses, such as the sycamore-leaf-wrapped Spanish valdeón. The dessert chocolates are all handcrafted, and the truffles are all handpicked from the secret truffle tree that you should absolutely not tell anyone about.
In Solera, owner John Fanning creates an accessible and inviting wine bar with knowledgeable staff, a wide selection of fine local and imported wines, and gourmet nibbles. Visitors can sip a glass of 2007 Mendoza chardonnay from Argentina ($6) or 2007 Jeanne Marie California merlot ($6) while grazing on an artisan-cheese board with three imported cheeses, sliced apples, baguette, and honey-drizzled apricots ($10). A bottle of French Domaine Dupeuble beaujolais from France ($28) or Indian Chenin blanc ($28) pairs well with both promising or tedious first dates, and effervescent conversation finds its match in a bottle of sparkling Australian shiraz ($32). Suds seekers can nab an Ithaca pale ale, Brooklyn lager, or Victory prima pilsner, among other brews ($4 each), while sampling an olive-oil flight with sliced baguette and sea salt ($7).
Southwedge Colony's classic pub cuisine quiets grumbling stomachs with a distinctive selection of freshly fired sandwiches. Furnish vacant table space with the loaded french fries, smothered with cheddar cheese, jalapeños, and bacon ($7.25). Or prove your love for hamburgers in a way that naming your first child, Hamburger, never could by adopting a black-bean burger, topped with crispy lettuce, succulent tomato, and zesty onion ($6.50). Meanwhile, the Colony Plate arrives with two 1/3-pound Angus beef patties stacked over macaroni salad, a choice of fries or tater tots, and slathering of meat sauce and chopped onions ($9.95).
Just behind its deceptively quaint, sleepy front-porch facade, The Landing Bar and Grille crackles with the kinetic energy of live bands, games of pool, a vast menu of pub-style grub, and a nightly happy hour. At the tchotchke-lined bar, domestic bottles wash down giant wings, which diners customize with one of five sauces. For a hunger-decimating half-pound of Black Angus, nine different burgers step up to the plate, including one with a peppercorn bourbon glaze and one that's confident enough to show up to tables accompanied by nothing but lettuce and tomato. The kitchen also prepares a dozen kinds of specialty sandwiches, as well as a handful of wraps lined with veggies, tuna, or grilled chicken breast.