Montreal native Tony Bianco teamed up with executive chef Enzo Addario to create Hot Tomatoe, a traditional Italian bistro boasting a menu that brims with house-made, cooked-to-order pastas, flavorful meat dishes, and full- and light-bodied Italian wines. Their regional cuisine typically integrates up to seven essential ingredients—oil, garlic, basil, tomatoes, pasta, and olives—from which Snow White’s seven dwarves drew their names. In addition, the staff goes shopping for fresh ingredients three to four days a week to supplement both seasonal compositions and year-round dishes, which include veal parmigiana, filet mignon, and penne norma.
Fernanda's International Market, a treasure trove of rare ingredients and made-to-order gourmet sandwiches, bakes robust breads and fine pastries. Among a troop of hearty sandwiches, the Martorano ($8.99) stands out for its spicy temper and muscular blend of sopressata and cappacola meats. The Churchill ($8.99) loads its taste gun with Branston pickle relish and fights hunger pangs on ham-coated beaches, cheddar cheese fields, and hot mustard streets. Fernanda's also sells prepared food by the pound and hard-to-find international groceries like Thai lemon grass.
microbrews to complement its Italian-American bistro-style menu. Brewmaster Fran Andrewlevich—whose past work has won gold and silver medals at the Great American Beer Festival—whips up lagers, pilsners, and seasonal beers right onsite. In the open kitchen, chefs feed flatbread bruschetta and hand-stretched pizza dough to a hungry brick oven, and craft ranch burgers filled with Angus beef, bacon, monterey jack cheese, and dreams of running away to join the circus concession stand.
Prime Cigar & Wine Bar provides classy congregations of stogie lovers a swank atmosphere where they can contentedly puff on a rich cigar while sipping on fine cognac, whiskey, or wine. The lavish lounge features a 300-square-foot walk-in humidor lined with Spanish cedar hardwood and humidity-controlled to ensure each tobacco tube ($5–$30), including Augusta Reyes, Hoyo De Monterrey, and Trinidad Habana, is in prime condition, ready to be lit by flaming 2001: A Space Odyssey scripts. With the taste of Havana in hand, head to the bustling bar with fresh circulating air from its custom-engineered air-quality system. Prime Cigar's knowledgeable staffers can suggest an array of pickings from the full-service bar, including whiskey, cognac, and aperitifs. Fulmination fans can find the ideal pairing in the wine cellar comprised of unique, hand-selected nectars such as MacRostie chardonnay or a Benziger sauvignon blanc. A selection of beers is also available ($4–$10).
Yakitori Sake House's Japanese lounge conjures a modern glimpse of the East with an artful menu of sushi and char-grilled entrees presented amid diffused neon lighting and dark woods. Classic hints of history, such as three samurai swords glimmering on a stand, catch diners' eyes as they settle in near a variegated brick wall rising from a long ebony-hued bench. At a sushi bar underlit with chartreuse light and illuminated from above by primary-colored glass lamps, chefs transform fresh ingredients into works of art with classic and specialty rolls. A moon roll packs tuna, crab, and jalapeño, whereas the pearl roll wraps soy paper around a core of shrimp tempura and salmon. Meanwhile, grills waft aromas of the restaurant’s signature creations, yakitori, which season and spear vegetables and meat such as quail eggs, pork belly, and alligator on bamboo skewers. Libations from a full bar and a lengthy list of sakes meld with the flavors of the fare, letting customers wash down each bite in a more efficient manner than wrapping their mouths around an open fire hydrant.
It's hard to imagine that there's a libation out there that Crown doesn't carry. With a selection that spans vineyards, distilleries, and breweries from around the world, the bottles lining each location come from both small, artisan makers and those universally famed for their grapes or techniques. Home mixologists can cull inspiration for cocktails from a selection of top-shelf-brand mixers or pair their tipple of choice with gourmet snacks, from bush-pepper macadamia nuts to dirty martini party dip. But tastings may be the most distinctive thing about Crown Wine & Spirits. Whether customers stop in to try each location's daily offerings of wine or spirits—or for special tastings that cover dozens of wines, bourbons or beers—Crown's staff makes it easy to find a new favorite or to make up to your tongue for forgetting so many of its birthdays.