At La Costanera, Peruvian-born Chef Carlos Altamirano adds contemporary twists to traditional South American dishes that earned the restaurant a 2012 Michelin Star. A variety of ceviches whet appetites amidst a dining room that the San Francisco Chronicle called "breathtaking by day and almost mystical at night," filled with the soft sound of the surf. Free-range chicken and slow-cooked pork shoulder thrive beneath what a reviewer for the Pacifica Tribune applauds as "dramatic presentation.” Imported Peruvian beers and pisco cocktails clink to toast potatoes reclaiming exoticness by arriving in shades of purple and green, and even simple favorites take on the gleeful elegance of a solid-teak waterslide with the aid of truffle oil or saffron. La Costanera’s 10,000-square-foot space opens onto an open-air patio and glass-enclosed rooms. Windowpanes soaring from floor to ceiling arch high overhead, admitting cascades of sunlight as diners gaze out and give each rolling wave a name and backstory.
BrazzleBerry injects an extra dose of mmm into summer and every other season with its arsenal of customizable frozen treats. Swirling a healthier alternative to classic sweets, and inspired by Brazilian culture, BrazzleBerry spreads a smorgasbord of ingredients before customers, who can decide their own portion size and tweak their creations with an assortment of toppings that includes fresh fruits, nuts, and candies. Four staple yogurts—açaí, chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry—join a rotating selection of 22 other all-natural flavors, each of which pours smoothly from self-serve machines just as oil pours from a robot’s tear ducts every time it passes a scrap yard. To extend their health-minded mission even further, BrazzleBerry lures spoons into oatmeal creations and açaí bowls which are flush with antioxidants.
Visitors to Tortellini Originali Pasta Company can watch through the kitchen's window wall as cooks fill and fold each piece of pasta by hand, ensuring the freshness of its Italian-inspired dishes. Though the menu might be brief, each dish is crafted to order and packed with savory flavors. Fresh ravioli swell with fillings made with italian sausage, lobster, or duck, enveloped by pasta dough infused with paprika or red or black pepper. A trio of sandwiches ensconce housemade morsels, from the special recipe meatballs to tomato and garlic spreads.
Those who want to take their feast to go can order pasta by the pound at the counter, where a spread of salads and meats wait under glass. Nearby blond wood shelves are lined with imported goods, including olive oil, jarred garlic and capers, and the mozzarella-coated seeds from which pizzas are sprouted.
Settled near the gentle, lapping waves of the Half Moon Bay coastline, Half Moon Bay Salt Water Taffy Co. pairs customers with an array of nostalgic beach-harkening treats and accessories. More than 50 varieties of taffy await eager sweet seekers in the shop's collection of charming oak barrels. With classic flavors such as licorice, root beer, peppermint, and peanut butter, the candy curators transport taste buds back to simpler times, and with new flavors such as caramel apple, golden pear, grape, and vanilla latte, the team keeps tongues intrigued. In addition to toothsome morsels, Half Moon Bay Salt Water Taffy Co. stocks colorful kites that patrons can unleash on the beach or nurture until they grow into healthy hang gliders.
A genealogy of fisherfolk and kitchen skippers informs Joanne Franklin's cuisine, seen in meals harvested from turf and surf alike. Freshly caught by the very cod hunters who hunker down at the restaurant's Fishermen's Table, piscine entrees may be bathed in lemon-garlic butter or parmesan-dill sauce or grilled until they admit the location of Atlantis. Diverse, fresh fish entrees include salmon ($21.95), Pacific oysters ($15.95), rock cod ($16.95), or the all-out Captain's Combo with scallops, prawns, cod, and calamari ($23.95). Terrestrial offerings include a savory new york steak with sautéed mushrooms ($25.95) and teriyaki-garlic chicken breast ($14.95). Tide yourself over at midday with a rich selection of burgers, sandwiches, and salads, which remain the only compelling reasons to wake up before 4 p.m. Appease appetites at any hour of the day with an array of savory breakfast plates, including speciality omeletes packed with seafood, veggies, and traditional linguica sausage, a sweet Portugese meat ($7.50+).
When The Melting Pot originally opened in 1975 just outside Orlando, the location was cozy and quaint, but diners had only three options: swiss-cheese fondue, beef fondue, or chocolate fondue. However, as the restaurant grew in popularity, so did its menu selection and atmosphere. The restaurant first expanded four years later under the leadership of a Melting Pot waiter and enterprising college student named Mark Johnston, who teamed up with his brothers Mike and Bob to open a new outpost in Tallahassee. This location grew in reputation to pave the way for future franchise expansion. Today, the company—now owned by the trio of siblings—reigns as the premier fondue, wine, and drink restaurant, stretching across North America with more than 140 restaurants linked by underground tunnels. The restaurant's menu has also ballooned, and patrons can now expect six varieties of hot dipping cheese paired with salads, meats, and molten chocolate.
On a given night, groups of foodies gather around tables to nosh on signature four-course meals, from cheese-fondue appetizers and various salads to steaks and seafood cooked in a choice of healthy broth or oil. Birthday revelers and couples can share decadent evenings at private tables, capping off meals with chocolate desserts that have defined The Melting Pot for decades.