Alex Bistro serves classic Italian dishes in a casual atmosphere of rustic red accents, wood floors, and ambient lighting to reflect off the restaurant's centerpiece, the artisan-crafted cuisine. Edible expeditions can commence with the clams oreganata, freshly baked clams in a breadcrumb shell ($8.95), or the arugula salad, dotted with black olives, tomatoes, onions, and parmesan cheese and showered in a house-made vinaigrette ($5). Pillowy gnocchi swims with fresh spinach, garlic, and pancetta in a pecorino romano–cheese sauce ($15.95), and stuffed tilapia romantically recites sonnets alongside crabmeat in a butter sauce ($21.95). Engage in some calf exercises with the veal napoleon, cloaked in a suit of eggplant, prosciutto, mozzarella, and tomatoes and drizzled with cherry-wine sauce ($15.95). Alex Bistro harbors three hand-carved bars, all fully stocked with elixir mixers, an impressive selection of wines, and beers to sip on during live entertainment on select evenings, such as live bands or your uncle's interpretation of Barbra Streisand's Woman in Love, complete with spaghetti wig and marinara tears.
Pizza Fusion delivers pies in hybrid vehicles, uses eco-friendly cleaning products, gives discounts for recycled pizza boxes, donates to environmental causes, and uses utensils made from potatoes. Its planned moon base will lack outdoor seating but will be 100% carbon neutral.
Inside the Garden State Plaza mall lies a gateway to the past, where flickering flames illuminate the charred interior of an oak-burning pizza oven, and the aroma of bubbling sauce made with freshly crushed tomatoes mixes with wisps of Frank Sinatra's silky voice. The charm that surrounds the rituals of Italian cooking drifts into Papa Razzi's dining room from an open-air kitchen, where cooks bustle around steaming pots of pasta. The culinarians use only fresh and imported ingredients when cooking, just as Old-World chefs did before they took jobs fixing the cleaver-wielding robots that would replace them.
Behind a wood-accented, 15-foot bar, mixologists sling a list of libations that includes mimosas, sangria, and wines selected to complement meals. In the dining room, fresh flowers sit atop white tablecloths, and celebrity photographs line the walls, reminding guests of treasured nuggets of pop culture.
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.