Steeped in 30 years of experience in Peruvian cuisine, Hats Off Restaurant & Bar’s seasoned chef commands a kitchen stocked with ingredients for favorites that include citrusy mixed-seafood ceviche and succulent sautéed-beef lomo saltado. Red cushioned seats and spirited red walls conjure elements of trendy downbeat lounges, and HD televisions emblazon sporting events across screens. Peruvian imported beers and cocktails, including traditional pisco sours, keep patrons well-watered, and a kids’ menu with chicken fingers and hot dogs offers whippersnappers a welcome diversion from traditional staples such as peanut butter or Elmer’s Glue.
Seventh Street Cafe’s dinner menu boasts a bountiful array of Northern Italian cuisine in shades of chicken, veal, seafood, and pasta. Feasting pregamers can start cold with lemon-laden poached jumbo shrimp paired with a spicy cocktail sauce ($10) or warm with the portabella trifolato, a grilled portobello mushroom garnished with caramelized sweet onion and asparagus, then dressed in a dignified balsamic reduction ($10). For the main feature, the pollo valdostana tells the story of prosciutto and mozzarella rooming together inside a lightly breaded boneless chicken breast, and how a flood of wild-mushroom sauce helps them overcome their differences ($21). Vegetarians, however, can abide by their uneasy cease-fire with cows with a heaping plate of rigatoni campagnola dotted with eggplant, zucchini, and fresh ricotta cheese ($13).
Furnished with stately, wood décor and red velvet curtains, Rein puts a regal twist on contemporary American cuisine via its appetizers and entrees. Dining-room architect and designer Robert DiLeonoardi sets the sophisticated scene for a stage bill of well-seasoned stars, starting with Georges Bank sautéed scallops ($17), dressed with Spanish mangaliza ham in a cauliflower vichyssoise and orange-leek confit. Entrees evoke images of men sipping cognac from curvy snifters. Graze with grace on plates of pepper-crusted, Montana-raised rib eyes ($48) or juniper-marinated venison ($38). Braised red cabbage, stuffed lady apples, and star anise complement each venison cut, alongside hot flushes of large, duck-fat-fried fries or smack-down potatoes ($6 each). Lounge postmeal with a fireside digestif, accompanied by a friend, loved one, or FDR's ghost.