Ludovico's proprietor Don Sozio and his two children and granddaughters whip up a menu of Italian sandwiches, pizzas, and homemade entrees using ingredients imported directed from Italy. Hot sandwiches, including the chicken parmigiana sandwich ($7.45) and grilled veggie panini ($7.35), crammed with fresh eggplant, roasted pepper, and broccoli rabe, are best bets for diners looking for a bite of home-cooked goodness or bait for a mozzarella monster trap. Original recipes revive classic comestibles, such as the stuffed portobello mushrooms ($8.99/lb.), grilled with crabmeat and spinach stuffing and capped with a hip new shredded-cheese wig. Snack-sized twice-baked potatoes ($6.99/lb.) compete for diners' affections with mouthfuls of gelato, desserts, and freshly brewed lattes and cappuccino.
The chefs at Casa Bella Trattoria use old-world cooking techniques and modern epicurean innovations to sculpt a full menu of hearty Italian specialties. Family recipes such as the homemade gnocchi and the chicken alla nonna provide diners with flavors perfected over several generations, and the option of substituting whole-wheat pasta enhances authenticity by hearkening to the days that predate the development of refined grains. In addition, the chefs prepare whole-fish dinners tableside, providing a dining experience previously exclusive to fishermen and sharks with refined palates.
Tuna is not a little part of Chef Marcus Severs's menu at The Little Tuna. In fact, he's dedicated an entire section to wild-caught ahi tuna, which he cooks in everything from jerk seasoning to creole mustard sauce. He incorporates equally inventive flavors into other seafood, from scallops with a honey-jalapeño kick to bite-sized crab cakes served in spicy lobster bisque. Of course, not all catches require tinkering—top-neck clams and oysters, for instance, emerge au naturel from Marcus's raw bar, where other fish share their dirtiest jokes. When he isn't working with seafood, Marcus turns to steak, stuffing bacon-wrapped beef tips with bleu cheese and expertly searing 12-ounce New York strips.
Desserted Pastries' experienced bakers craft a conscientious menu of allergy- and diet-friendly sweets and savories. Relying only on nut-free recipes, the bakery purveys cinnamon rolls ($2), cream puffs ($1.50), and éclairs ($1.50) that sate sweet teeth without harming allergy sufferers or incurring vendettas from aggrieved cashews. Cakes of the yellow, chocolate, red-velvet, and carrot variety ($12+) encapsulate cylindrical deliciousness, and cupcakes ($9/half dozen) and cookies ($7.50/dozen) supply delectable mouthfuls by the handful. Yeast breads, including french, italian, and challah loaves ($2–$7), bestow a crusty crunch on any celebration, from an acquaintance's pastry-school graduation to a pet rock's birthday party. Desserted Pastries prides itself on serving oven-fresh delicacies, and therefore requires advance orders for breads, seasonal treats, and gluten-free goods. Check the menu for details.
Within Elements Cafe’s romantically lit dining room, guests nibble on upscale, American-style tapas featuring locally grown and organic ingredients. Fred Kellermann, the owner and mastermind chef behind Elements, creates an eclectic menu that brings together unusual flavor combinations in dishes such as potato ravioli with root beer and short ribs or pumpkin-mushroom soup with rosemary cream. To stay on the cutting edge of the ever-evolving food scene, Chef Fred continually updates his repertoire by experimenting with seasonal ingredients and new preparations. Customers can taste his newest creations every Sunday during Sunday supper, which features with a weekly changing menu of new dishes, old favorites, and a pill that cures the Mondays.
For more than 35 years, Sea-Lect Seafood has curated an ample selection of fresh wild Alaskan salmon, sushi-grade tuna, wild-caught shrimp, and other sea-caught treasures. Each day, the staff crowds a case with crab cakes and prepares other foods—homemade soups and creamy chowders—to be savored at home. At the Maple Shade location, chefs craft hot dishes for diners who devour steaming meals in the cozy dining space rather than at home to avoid offending the family goldfish.Owner George Gladden first started working at Sea-Lect Seafood at the age of 15 as a dishwasher, then climbed his way to the top through his love of cooking fresh seafood, desire to please customers, and ability to speak lobster.