Crust that’s at once crispy and gooey, imbued with a flavor that’s subtly smoky and fresh, with a texture that’s like a playground for the tongue—this is what brick firing gives to pizza. At Giovanni's Brick Oven Pizzeria, chefs understand that a little extra attention elevates good pizza to gourmet pizza, and so they fire their thin, New York–style crusts directly on the brick of their oven. Yet this is just a single facet to their polygonal masterpieces. Family recipes are another, bringing the results of years of experimentation to pies such as the margherita and hawaiian. Then there’s the creativity—cheeseburger pizzas covered in ketchup, mustard, ground beef, and american cheese—and the variety—25 slices available every day. These are served alongside pastas in bolognese sauce and more than 19 kinds of grinder stuffed with genoa salami and other meats.
Beer and wine, such as Lagunitas and the California red Ménage à Trois, wash down meals and add the extra dimension of pairing to pizza dinners. Guests can enjoy these inside, amid rustic Italian decorations, or on a spacious, heated patio amid fresh breezes and the moon’s attempts to hit diners’ eyes. Giovanni's also hosts special events, such as holiday parties and kids' nights, and contributes to community causes, such as schools and sports teams.
At Jalisco Restaurant, the Rodriguez family whips up traditional Mexican dishes enhanced by fresh veggies, natural-aged cheeses, and homemade, preservative-free corn tortillas. Every day, chefs blend sauces and marinades from scratch to match with top sirloin steak, pork loin, and lamb shank, as well as ocean-fresh red snapper, prawns, scallops, and Dungeness crab. Crisp chips emerge from the fryer mere hours before appearing on tables to scoop up salsas or remnants of vegetarian burritos stuffed with cactus and black beans. Against a vibrant backdrop of yellow and adobe-colored walls, bartenders rim margarita glasses with salt and lime wedges or feed tropical cocktails to thirsty piñatas.
Plan B Burger Bar boasts a bevy of natural burgers that have received the a-okay from Certified Humane, ensuring that every beefy bite is pure, pristine, and chemical-free. Make friends with the menu and opt for one of the restaurant's 20 burgers, each hand-ground on the premises daily and served with a choice of fries or organic greens. Customer favorites include the bacon cheeseburger ($10.99), with American cheese, caramelized onions, and garlic mayo; the appealing appetizer of three mini cheeseburgers ($9.59) with parmesan fries; the blue-cheese burger ($11.99), topped with caramelized onions and bourbon barbecue sauce; and the signature Tavern Classic ($9.99), topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, and Plan B's special sauce. Non-bunned plates include a lobster mac ‘n’ cheese ($19.99), spaghetti and meatballs ($12.99), and grilled salmon ($15.99).
Rooftop120 welcomes visitors into a high-class cosmopolitan atmosphere of year-round rooftop seating, potent martinis, fresh oysters, and seasonal dishes that showcase a variety of culinary styles. The bill of fare promises beers, wines, and cocktails paired with fresh ahi tuna, truffle-tinged fries, heirloom-tomato salads, and other small plates made from local produce that earned accolades from the Hartford Advocate as one of the best new bars, restaurants, and outdoor-dining destinations of 2012. Live bands or piano music set a soundtrack for nights out on the town, and sports packages keep fans informed of the latest on-field exploits and product endorsements from their favorite athletes. The seasonal menu and adaptable space keep guests comfortable and satisfied throughout the year, as they gather around the crackling fire pit and dine on butternut-squash soup in colder months or sip refreshing cocktails on the open-air patio in the summer.
Meals at Tango Creative often begin with a center piece of liquid nitrogen mixed in with aroma-therapy water, which creates a billowing cloud of aromatic frost to help guests cleanse their olfactory palette before indulging in sophistication-infused contemporary fare. Once the cool vapors subside and your Qi is properly aligned, launch a romantic meal or Mensa meeting with a small plate of ginger-tuna ceviche, complete with watermelon, cherry tomatoes, and wasabi tamarind yogurt ($8). Entrees offer satisfying servings of internationally inspired fare, such as the braised bacon roast, a slow-roasted pork belly served over stir-fried veggies with asparagus butter sauce ($24). The seared scallops stage a cinematic kiss with lobster risotto under a drizzle of balsamic reduction and sweet-pea buerre blanc sauce ($24). Tango Creative’s array of daily changing desserts rivals a cotton-candy cyclone with its unpredictable sweetness.