Bring your Italian-fairytale fantasies to life without enduring the cost and chaos of the international flight or another encounter with the Man on the Scooter. You'll set out from either Gondola Adventures’ floating headquarters or the nearby Omni Mandalay Hotel. A master gondolerino will either sing or play romantic music as he pokes and paddles through quiet canal inlets on to the foamy heads of waterfalls or across the glassy, mirrored-sky expanse of the lake. You'll be plied with chocolates and non-alcoholic sparkling wine. Thanks to Irving's 1888 anti-hoedown law, if you want alcoholic wine you'll have to purchase it from the Omni Mandalay Hotel and have them cork it and bring it down to the boat.
Spanning more than 8,000 square feet, The Cellar Restaurant & Bar has ample space to fit several dining experiences under one roof. Submerged in the glow of purple backlights and flat-screen TVs, the 40-foot fully stocked bar stretches across one wall and invites patrons to kick back with a beer or specialty drink while socializing with the lively crowd. In the dining room, a more low-key evening rides in on the heels of lunch and dinner menus full of half-pound burgers, flat iron steaks, and pulled pork sandwiches. Just outside, the canal-facing patio offers shots of fresh air, music, and ample seating amid trees and strings of light bulbs after dark. Many evenings also offer a number of special events, such as Beat the Teach pub trivia. The Cellar also delivers its classic American food to local homes and businesses.
At Bombay Sizzler Pub & Grill, cooks pump out delicious smells that tickle patrons’ appetites and pile plates with savory Indian and pan-Asian dishes. The varied menu throws taste buds culinary curveballs in the form of entrees that integrate a menagerie of meats, from curried mutton in tomato-onion gravy to pomfret fish with ginger, garlic, and lime juice. Meat-free eaters might avail themselves of the dahl tadka, a serving of yellow lentils with onion, tomato, and cumin, or the okra masala fried with onion.
Le Peep's focus on breakfast and lunch stems from a decision made more than 40 years ago, when Buddy and Rhoda Waldman opened The Village Pantry in Aspen, Colorado, and?not wanting to miss a half day of skiing?would close the kitchen each day before noon. The duo would continue to tinker with their concept, stare at it through a novelty-sized microscope, and change its name before it eventually migrated to Texas.
Nowadays, the kitchen staff perpetuates the breakfast-crafting tradition by offering omelets, eggs benedict, skillets, and build-your-own pancake options that use ingredients such as walnuts, bacon, pineapple, and chocolate chips. Traditional dishes are augmented with unique twists, such as the Gooey Buns, english muffins broiled with brown sugar, cinnamon, and almonds and served with a signature side of Mom's Sassy Apples. During midday hours, a variety of salads, burgers, and sandwiches parades out of the kitchen accompanied by smoothies, juices, or Mother Parkers coffee. Le Peep's catering service delivers breakfast and lunch fare to homes, events, or filibustered neighborhood-watch meetings.
On any given day, Piman Asian Bistro?s chefs cook piles upon piles of noodles for the eatery?s Asian dishes. They add a helping of spice for drunken noodles, pan-fry noodles and veggies, and pair pad thai with crushed peanuts. They also craft a number of noodle-free meals in the kitchen, including beef and salmon flavored with oyster sauce, green curry, or a teriyaki glaze.
Specializing in the fragrant, well-spiced "loose rice" that is biryani, Astoria Biryani House prepares heaping mounds of the long-grain rice mixed with traditional South Indian ingredients. Diners dig in to dishes of the aromatic rice mixed with tender chicken, mutton, or goat in portions large enough to feed a table full of people or an actual table if it gets hungry enough. A full menu of other traditional Indian cuisine includes spicy curry, fluffy naan, and crispy samosas.