In the kitchen of Tavern on the Lake, chefs not only cook pub classics such as 14-ounce burgers with mushrooms and onions but also an upscale house made ravioli entrees with scallops, chorizo, and mascarpone cheese. Meanwhile, patrons sing karaoke tunes, listen to live band performances, or adjourn to the outdoor patio to sip a pint of beer from the full bar.
When HoneyBaked Ham was just a single shop in Michigan more than 40 years ago, it was run under the careful eye of its founder, Harry J. Hoenselaar. He handpicked every bone-in ham that he was going to sell in stores and carefully cured each in a secret marinade recipe. He then slow-smoked the ham over a custom blend of wood chips. Hoenselaar even built and patented a machine that spiral-cut the meat into almost perfectly even slices and re-creations of M.A.S.H. characters. But what really stuck with people was his glaze—a proprietary recipe that encased each ham with a sweet, crunchy finish.
Though Harry's shop has since grown into a nationally recognized brand with more than 400 stores, that attention to detail hasn’t been lost. His grandchildren now oversee the company, and they have maintained that same process of hand-selecting hams and smoking them for up to 24 hours before they’re spiral-cut and glazed. Many of the stores also have a cafe-style counter, where patrons can pick up fresh sandwiches layered with roast beef, smoked turkey breast, chicken salad, and of course, honey-glazed ham.
Chicken alfredo, shrimp scampi, eggplant parmesan. More than 30 housemade pasta dishes emerge from the kitchen every night at Piccolo Trattoria of Newtown. Chefs scatter pistachio nuts and goat cheese into fettuccine, smother penne with baby shrimp and pesto cream sauce, and cover fusilli with oyster and shiitake mushrooms.
Earlier in the day, however, these recipes take on a different form: they become pizzas. During lunch, chefs whip up more than 20 gourmet pies, crowning them with classic pasta ingredients alongside non-Italian flavors such as taco and cheesesteak fixings. Besides tossing noodles and flinging dough, the BYOB eatery's chefs cook salmon in a port wine reduction and sauté veal with figs and mushrooms in a cognac cream sauce.
For more than 20 years, Mountain View Bar & Grille has been sating appetites with hearty sandwiches and salads. Nestled on the grounds of a golf course, the eatery's rotating menu features staples such as chicken caesar salads, rigatoni in vodka sauce, and hearty sandwiches stuffed with pulled pork or BLT fixings.
Mr Subs has come a long way since it was thought up by a group of college friends at Rutgers University. Since then, the sandwich shop has expanded to four separate locations throughout the area. Each follows the same formula—heap savory meats and farm-raised, seasonal veggies between slices of freshly baked bread. Cold subs are the shop's specialty; they come in varieties that include honey-roasted turkey, roast beef, and prosciuttini with capicola and cheese. Diners can also sink their teeth into grilled cheesesteak and BLT sandwiches as well as breakfast options.
Inside La Luna Dance Studio, students whirl like colorful tops, salsa dancing, tango dancing, or swing dancing atop a 5,000-square-foot dance floor as a crystal-clear sound system pumps tunes. Encouraging instructors stand nearby, breaking down the music and the steps of each style, as friends, partners, and the newly acquainted bond over each tap of their toes. While the studio specializes in these adult Latin-dance courses, junior-level programs welcome kids aged 3 and older, and all classes are scaled to beginner, intermediate, or advanced levels. In addition to their comprehensive month-long programs, the sashayers host special events and dance parties, such as BYOB Salsa Friday every second and fourth weekend, and an annual symposium on the safety risks of holding roses in your teeth.