The wine list at 360 Bistro comes with more than 1,000 options, allowing diners to choose from plenty of rich reds and effervescent whites to pair with seasonal plates such as tomato gnocchi with lump crab or sweet-tea-brined pork chops. Owner Nick Jacobson’s efforts to create an outstanding wine program recently paid off with a nod from Wine Spectator, which handed the restaurant the coveted and exclusive Award of Excellence in 2011.
Like a crazy-eyed, brick-toting ex-girlfriend, Far East’s menu may be a bit on the small side but still packs quite a punch. Each dish infuses French influences with Vietnam’s traditional eats. For starters, try the salt and pepper fried squid on lettuce ($6.50), or dive into a bowl of pho, a beef noodle soup with flank and sirloin ($8.75). Entrees include options such as the pan-fried green-onion tilapia ($9.50), satay beef with green onion and mushroom ($9.50), coconut curry chicken with Yukon potato ($9), and fish-sauce-grilled eggplant with mushroom, onion, and bamboo ($9). Most dishes can be made spicy, and several can be made with tofu for veggie-friendly options. Far East also offers several wine and beer options, but few tipples go as well with a steaming bowl of pho as a soda chan (house-made limeade with soda water, $2.50) or a slow-dripped Vietnamese iced coffee ($2.95).
Before breakfast crowds arrive, chefs at Fish & Grits roll out crusts for key-lime pie and caramel cheesecake and spread icing onto chocolate cakes as they cool. Though diners may not crave sweets for hours, so much of the Southern-infused menu is made-to-order that the cooks need to prep as much as they can before servers start swarming into the kitchen with orders. For breakfast, they flip customized omelets, and for lunch they toss individual portions of creamy tuna or chicken salads. Tilapia fillets blacken to a flaky finish on the grill, while catfish sizzles to a golden brown in the deep fryer. To supplement the savory seafood, grits come in six flavors—one for each chamber of the human stomach.
Since its first restaurant—literally a small, converted shack—opened in 1980, Uncle Bud's has filled its menu of Southern-style eats with golden-brown morsels of fried catfish, chicken, and shrimp. Succulent strips of chicken are breaded by hand before plunging into the deep fryer, and everything from catfish fillets and frog legs to wild-gator tails pile onto dishes such as the Bayou platter. The scent of fried po’ boys fills the dining area, which is decorated with license plates and vintage camping supplies, where patrons can happily slake their hunger or pack up carryout containers with family-size helpings large enough to feed an entire terracotta army.
Criallo's menu starts things off with a smattering of bold appetizers and tapas. Baked brie ($11) drizzled with raspberry lava sauce, indulgent lobster fondue ($10), oysters Rockefeller ($12), and crab cakes ($12) served in a shredded potato crust all serve to whet appetites and open conversational floodgates before generously proportioned entrees of sea flavors such as tilapia (stuffed with brie and lobster) ($22) and paella (chock full of chorizo, mussels, scallops, shrimp, and bits of lobster tail, $24). Other options include grilled lamb chops ($32), French roasted chicken ($26), and chorizo-stuffed pork loin ($24).