On the shores of Lake Ontario, two-tiered lakeside decks house tables crowded with plates of seafood and seared steaks while diners enjoy the setting sun. Since the 1920s, Castaways has been a shorefront destination for hungry travelers, serving up everything from fresh seafood to their specialty Cajun-rubbed, blackened prime rib. Inside, nautical-themed memorabilia decorates the walls, and a framed etching of a tall ship overlooks a long wooden bar made entirely from recycled peg legs. Diners can enjoy their meal out on the heated, two-tier patio or indoors while being warmed by the fireplace.
The grill at Sogo Japanese Steakhouse is not just a grill. With tables surrounding it, the flattop hibachi doubles as a stage, where chefs Tony and Matt juggle spatulas while searing lobster, steak, and scallops. While their customers grill their own portions of Kobe beef as an appetizer, the sushi chefs in the kitchen prepare both cooked and raw signature rolls with ingredients such as eel, deep-fried crab, and spicy tuna with a tempura crunch. The chefs also craft orders of live scallops, sea urchin, and lobster. All the while, customers enjoy the view of a modernly designed space, with bright pink walls by the grill and funky light fixtures throughout.
To give the Mona Lisa Café authentic European flair, the proprietors adorned the bistro from head to toe with décor and displays imported from Italy. Amongst the crimson walls and marble- and tile-topped café tables, patrons peruse the gelato selections and pastries kept chilled behind glass, seeking something to pair with their coffee drinks. During dinner, the kitchen crafts its own red sauce for pasta and parmigiana dishes, while fresh mozzarella melts over prosciutto and tomatoes in panini sandwiches. Patrons can dine al fresco in the fresh air as live music entertains them.
New Wasabi's chefs tap into old-fashioned Eastern culinary traditions when preparing dishes from Japan and China. To showcase Japanese cooking methods, they sizzle steaks on a hibachi-style grill, top them with teriyaki sauce, or slice them into the shape of Sadaharu Oh’s silhouette. Their Chinese recipes infuse chicken with flavors ranging from sweet to spicy to nutty. Several appetizers arrive on yacht-shaped platters, a subtle hint that the kitchen teems with shrimp, octopus, and other seafood. The love boat sends a more direct message by floating 36 pieces of sushi and sashimi across the dining room.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand-toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California–grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants in three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.