Though Brucci's Pizza owner Bruce Jackson was born in Syracuse, New York, his grandparents hail from Italy, and he grew up feasting on Italian recipes that had been passed down through generations. At his restaurant, the chefs follow the same timeworn recipes as his grandparents when dishing up Italian favorites with a New York–style flair. They whip up lasagna layered with meatballs and italian sausage, grill paninis, and hand-toss housemade dough for pizzas, strombolis, and calzones. Their specialty pies include the Brooklyn—topped with diced tomatoes and fresh basil—and the Syracuse Stuffer—laden with sausage, beef, pepperoni, and ham, as well as green peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
But Brucci's Pizza is more than just an eatery—it's also a gathering place. In addition to weekly specials, the three locations host regular events. The Ponte Vedra and Fruit Cove locations host a Monday kids' night, and the West Beaches location facilitates live music twice a week, played by bands that are not made up of animatronic rodents. The chefs also issue a standing challenge: if any guest can devour a double-thick, 16-inch Fuhgeddaboudit pizza—smothered in seven toppings and gobs of extra cheese—within an hour, it's on the house.
At TherapyWorks of Jacksonville, relaxation is only a side effect. The therapist-s main goals for treatments are more medically minded: treatment of injuries, pain relief, stress reduction, and improved quality of life for their clients. Founder James R. Lehman leads the team of licensed massage therapists and physical therapists, whose services cover common massage modalities, such as deep tissue and Swedish, as well as more specialized neuromuscular and orthopedic work. These therapists personalize each appointment to address a number of rehabilitative concerns, including relief for chronic neck and back tension, automobile and sports injuries, and the weight-bearing aches associated with pregnancy or watermelon smuggling.
All three TherapyWorks clinics strive to craft goal-oriented regimens for their visitors, focusing on concrete outcomes rather than merely suppressing symptoms. They also accept most insurance plans, provided patients have a physician's prescription for treatment.
Tonino's Trattoria serves up traditional Roman-style cuisine culled from the sauce-saturated pages of owners Tonino and Angela's family cookbook. Diners who like their dinner as flat and vegetated as our planet will appreciate Tonino's array of inventive pizzas ($8.95–$17.95) crafted with fresh, homemade sauce and dough. Fork devotees can bask in a baked dish, such as lasagna or ravioli, or ogle the restaurant's pasta selection, which is extensive enough to lasso Italy's entire indigenous meatball population. Fettuccine puttanesca ($12.95) invites utensils to swirl through a ballroom of chopped olives, capers, mushrooms, bell peppers, and anchovies, polished with spicy marinara. Tonino's also pleases tipplers with a substantial selection of imported wines, beers, and a full bar.
At Cocina Latin American Fusion, sweet flavors tickle the tongue just as often as fiery ones cause it to tingle. Fruit-based marinades flavor several meats, such as grilled jumbo shrimp in house lime sauce, a guava barbecue-glazed pork chop, and mango chicken, which is prepared by finding and cracking open a perfectly egg-shaped mango. The menu derives its dishes from several countries—paella entrees evoke the tastes of Spain, for example, whereas a chili-dusted sirloin steak boasts a Cuban mojo sauce. Regardless of their origins, each seafood, chicken, and beef specialty pairs well with sides of sweet plantains. And on Sundays, patrons can intersperse bites of brunch plates with chilled sips of Morisonado, a mix of orange juice, milk, and cinnamon.
The live entertainment on weekends mirrors the diversity of the restaurant's cuisine. On Fridays, Latin jazz lilts through the space. Saturdays feature piano performances, and guitarists take the stage on Sundays to strum Spanish tunes.
The acclaim for Wild Wing Cafe's wings is almost as wide ranging as the various inspirations behind its 30+ wing sauces. Readers of Augusta magazine and the Charleston City Paper routinely vote the wingery to the top of those publications’ Best Wings lists. Beyond that, countless magazines, newspapers, and "Best Of" lists from Knoxville to Myrtle Beach praise the delicious bites of sweet meat. Much of the praise is heaped on the unique glazes, which include everything from the mesquite-tinged Ol’ Smokey to the honey-lime-cilantro trifecta of the Loco Bueno. With orders ranging from 8-piece plates to 50-piece platters, diners can feast on wings or use them as appetizers. Once wing-satiation sets in, diners can explore the rest of the restaurant's all-American menu that, unlike a good space suit, is made up of sloppy joes, ribs, burgers, and potato skins.
The tables inside The Good Food Company’s 150-seat dining room are filled with artful meals that pile up as mini sculptures on plates drizzled with sauce. Though the menu changes seasonally, it’s sure to highlight inventive flavor combinations such as their lamb with whole grain mustard in a merlot vanilla reduction. Lighter lunch fare comes in such forms as clam chowder with yukon gold potatoes and a burger whose meat is freshly processed in-house. Behind the 18-seat bar, a wine connoisseur fills glasses with an extensive list of squeezed grapes.
Additionally, the chefs freeze a menu of take-and-bake entrees made from organic and seasonal ingredients whenever possible, from chicken or beef pot pie to scoops of mac 'n' cheese. Each dish comes in a variety of sizes, such as a medium portion, which serves four to five diners, or a large tray, which sates the appetites of six to eight people or 0.4 Mark McGwires.