MarkJoseph Steakhouse prepares a menu that shines its spotlight on protein-toting entrees, bristling with USDA prime dry-aged steaks and grilled seafood. Prep the palate's meat centers with a thick slice of sizzling Canadian bacon ($3.75), before biting into the porterhouse for two ($82) or a 12-ounce filet mignon ($42), professionally prepared and briefed extensively on the behavior of molars before gracing each plate. The seared Chilean sea bass offers a seafaring alternative to spotlighted meats, arriving tastefully dressed in a flavor-enhancing ginger beurre blanc sauce ($31.50).
Several years after Joe Moreno opened Broadway Joe Steakhouse in 1949, it was featured in the Jimmy Stewart movie The FBI Story. The first of many films and TV shows to be shot in the restaurant, it set off a chain reaction that would soon have actors and cultural luminaries not just filming scenes there but dining on its hearty Italian dishes and steaks. In the kitchen, cooks prepare many of the pillars of Italian cuisine—chicken parmigiana, veal marsala, and linguine with clams. Diners can sink teeth into salmon fillets or a wide selection of steaks, from cuts of rib eye, filet mignon, and sirloin to 50-ounce porterhouses for two that are so big they served as body doubles for Jimmy Stewart.
Shula’s Steak House romances diners with opulent white linens, cherry-wood walls, and football-themed décor, replete with photos of famous athletes in gold-plated frames. The restaurant’s appetizers, salads, and sides feature 3- to 5-pound Maine lobsters, oysters, and vegetables, satisfying those eaters who stray from meatier fare. All steaks served by Shula’s must meet eight meticulously defined criteria—marbling, maturity, consistency, leanness, flavor, appearance, and tenderness—before advancing to the next round of a steak-selection reality show. Legendary NFL coach Don Shula’s name marks restaurants across the country, signifying the utmost dedication to quality beef.
Flower bouquets are a classic romantic gesture, but dates at forty2West might be equally wowed with the menu's Shellfish Bouquet, which comes filled with lobster, lump crab, oysters, and clams. This seafood medley is one of the offerings from the restaurant's raw bar, where local oysters and littleneck clams sit alongside salmon tartar. Forty2West is not just a seafood joint, though; its nuances run deep, past the raw bar and into the kitchen. This is Chef John Di Lemme's territory, and he supervises it with culinary knowledge passed down by his grandmother and mother. His house-made pastas reflect rustic Italian traditions: papardelle mixed with lamb ragu, or tagliolini with crab, sea urchin, and spring onion.
Not content to be just a raw bar and Italian hybrid, forty2West has a third specialty in steaks. The "Simply Grilled" portion of the menu lists cuts of filet mignon, a porterhouse prepped for two, and rib eyes with the bone in, rather than gifted as an after-dinner boomerang. With these dinner selections and a host of sides, the cuisine is indeed eclectic. Yet the meals all share an old-school sensibility, the same classic chic reflected in the wood-paneled, two-level dining room and the mosaic art pieces above the bar.
Like most good ideas, Gymboree Play and Music didn't begin in a business meeting—it began out of necessity. In 1976, Joan Barnes, a California mom, found herself frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time. Knowing that other parents were undoubtedly feeling the same frustration, she took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. She consulted experts to design a curriculum of activities to foster the development of children’s cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play. She hired a nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers. And her staff began conducting entertaining classes covering subjects ranging from music to sports to impart valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. As their children learned and socialized, parents also found benefit in meeting and befriending other moms and dads in their local area. More than 30 years later, her vision has proved to be a success: more than 712 child-centered franchises now spread over 42 countries, bringing confidence and creativity to thousands of youngsters in several continents and to one in the center of the earth.