The CDC Caf? chefs build sandwiches from scratch each and every day. Sourdough paninis are a shop specialty, pressed with gourmet fillings like grilled chicken, bacon, avocado, and Monterey Jack cheese. Fresh, light rye bread, meanwhile, holds all the fixings of a traditional reuben sandwich: slow-roasted corned beef, sauerkraut, thousand island dressing, and Swiss cheese. Not in a sandwich mood? The chefs pile the same ingredients atop flatbreads and tuck them into omelets. For bigger appetites, they also create a handful of heartier entrees, such as baked spaghetti or parmesan-breaded tilapia.
While they eat, guests can relax inside the welcoming caf?, which offers complimentary Wi-Fi to all patrons. Or, they can enjoy their favorite panini or flatbread on their own turf, since CDC Cafe also caters, delivering food for office luncheons, family parties, neighborhood food fights, and other special events.
The brainchild of New York–native Joseph Palladino, Coal Vines Restaurant centers its Italian-inspired menu around thin-crust pizzas crisped inside a coal-fired oven. Chef T.J. Stack applies his years of culinary expertise working at the landmark Savoy Grill to Coal Vine Restaurant’s menu, which pairs its retinue of cheesy pies, pastas, and sandwiches with an extensive assortment of merlots, cabernets, and chardonnays freshly squeezed from the grape’s udder. The omelet and pancake stations erected during Sunday brunch augment the eatery’s Italian offerings with classic midday fare washed down with seasonal mimosas served by flute or carafe. Daily grinders can unwind during weekday Winedowns, which offer select glasses of wine for $5 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.Wine bottles nestle inside Coal Vines Restaurant’s every nook and cranny, flanking floor-to-ceiling doors that give way to a breezy patio stationed between potted plants and black fencing. In the dining room, floors burnished to a shimmering mocha hue reflect the bright red cushioned chairs that surround each table, and at night, candles illuminate the shiny marble bar laden with vino harvested from an on-site wine vault.
Ingredient restaurant offers a smorgasbord of gourmet and customizable culinary bites in a quick-serve atmosphere, catering to dietary restrictions whenever possible. Local ingredients claim squatter's rights on the menu, sprucing up dishes such as the custom salads ($8.95), with more than 75 options to arrange into fully functioning veggie ecosystems.
"Sleek and shiny and glamorous" is how The Pitch's Charles Ferruzza described Cafe Trio in a 2009 article reviewing the eatery's at-the-time new location, although his praises didn't stop there. He also doled out compliments about Executive Chef Adam Yoder's European-inspired food, which earns a rating of very good to excellent from Zagat.
In the glow of paper lanterns, colorful paintings crafted by local artists hover over plates of Faroe Islands salmon roulade and hand-cut tenderloin fillets, which diners can enjoy while gazing out at the fountain and trees of Mill Creek Park. Outside, an expansive deck?open year-round?offers alfresco dining through the warm summer months, as well as unobstructed views of the resident snowmen of Country Club Plaza throughout the winter.
Windows covering the wall let floods of natural light pour across servers who bear trays of pastas and pizzas through Sutera's Italian Restaurant in Westwood, which has been in business for three decades. As night falls, domed hanging lights glow overhead like hovering spacecraft, illuminating a weathered wooden bar where wall compartments backed in vibrant red contain ranks of bottled wines. At tables, patrons tear into meatball subs and burgers with italian seasoning, causing traders in napkin futures to pull out their cell phones.
The Waldo district's 75th Street Brewery concocts unique beers best enjoyed while listening to the sounds of the local musicians who frequent its stage. As brewmasters labor to perfect the flavor of each keg, chefs craft an ever-growing menu of famous American eats, including burgers, ribs, pasta, and fresh vegetable salads. They call out daily specials on colorful, handwritten chalkboard menus suspended next to the high, exposed wooden rafters. For those who appreciate alfresco dining, a sunny beer garden lets in air and light through its slotted roof, while four solid walls block unpleasant noises, such as the squalls of wandering avant-garde jazzmen.