Walking into Ruppert's, one might expect to see fedora-clad patrons hunkered over their scotches at the rich, dark-wood bar. That’s because the restaurant strives to emulate old New York City bistros and diners from the 1930's and 40's. This nod to the past also surfaces in its name, which comes from Colonel Jacob Ruppert—the owner of the New York Yankees during the Babe Ruth era.
Like the city they take their inspiration from, Ruppert's cooks meld the international with the classically American. These kitchen staffers looked to the north when coming up with the Canadian Mountie burger, and tapped into their inner island dwellers when developing the Jamaican burger, which they top with cold watermelon relish, grilled pineapple, and jack cheese. They also serve up classic, no-frills dishes, such as tuna melts on New York rye and Top Hat Chicken. As diners enjoy theses inventive or traditional spreads, they can tap their two-toned brogues to live entertainment ranging from Elvis impersonators to Lou Pallo, a former member of the Les Paul Trio.
The Little Food Cafe’s cooks assemble sauce-slathered chicken-pesto press sandwiches, fresh salads, and mile-high meatloaf in a charming café setting. Midday hunger pangs meet their match in refreshing entrees such as the avocado club, a bacon-and-avocado bundle that fires up tongues more than trilling the first words of their high-school fight song. Greens include Italian-style salads strewn with bite-size eggplant and provolone and taco salads adorned with ground turkey, cheddar, tomato, avocado, and tortilla strips. Alternately, evening eaters can avail themselves of appetizers such as meat-filled rice balls, fish such as honey-dijon-glazed salmon, and down-home entrees such as mile-high meatloaf.
Conturso's Market pleases palates with a medley of gourmet pizzas, sandwiches, paninis, and other custom treats crafted with flavorful, homemade ingredients. The value of today's Groupon can be used toward Conturso's groceries—which include fresh pastas and specialty cooking ingredients—or toward the expansive daily lunch menu, teeming with tasties ideal for midday meals or late-night leftover parades. Quench protein cravings with the hand-rolled, 18-inch meat pie ($17.95), topped with a hearty trio of pepperoni, sausage, and meatballs, or keep it simple with the margherita pizza ($16.95), a mozzarella, basil, and olive oil–imbued disk that's fun to catch between the teeth during frisbee games. Grilled mushrooms and caramelized onions bolster the fluffy bread of John's portobello delight sandwich ($6.95 for small), while lean meat receives a tight, supportive hug in the roasted turkey panini ($7.45).
With live music every weekend of the year and a wall plastered with a Joe Strummer banner, Bardi’s Grill’s prevalent rock 'n' roll theme stands in contrast to its genre-defying menu. Eclectic eats run the gamut from classic Americana—including half-pound burgers on kaiser rolls—to Italian meals of eggplant lasagna and thin-crust pizza. The international menu not only draws from the US and Italy but also the ocean in between, with a tangle of linguine topped with shrimp, calamari, mussels, and other seafood much tastier than once-common fillets of tugboat. Weekly specials ranging from sizzling steaks to discounted three-course meals add an element of surprise to the menu, along with a Monday–Friday happy hour.
With an NFL champion like Tony "The Goose" Siragusa as co-owner, one might expect Tiffany's Restaurant and Bar to show only football. But the eatery's 20-some high-definition flatscreens—extending all the way onto a heated outdoor patio—display everything from basketball and hockey to UFC. The entertainment at Tiffany's isn't all onscreen—throughout the week, events include sets by local DJs, karaoke nights, and Texas hold 'em tournaments.
Founded over 30 years ago, Tiffany's chefs still baste the eatery's award-winning ribs in house-made barbecue sauce, and make meatballs by hand before tossing them with imported Italian pasta. The restaurant has also updated the menu with new, creative twists on bar food and 25 varieties of wings and sauces, such as buffalo wings coated in wasabi sauce. To pair with it all, there are plenty of beers poured from the tap, served in a bottle, or sprayed directly into your mouth from a Super Soaker.
The chefs at The Montville Inn pamper palates with an eclectic menu of American fare. Customers can rev up taste buds with an appetizer of braised short-rib ravioli in a red-wine reduction before diving tongue-first into the seafood gumbo with diced cherry peppers served over basmati rice. Like the first European explorer to discover tomato sauce, diners can stake a claim to The Montville Inn's bar pie, a pizza topped with barbecue brisket, red onion, and mozzarella cheese. Teeth test their sharpness with the succulent 14-ounce new york strip steak, served with caramelized onions and smoked pepper bacon whipped potatoes, or the country-style pork chop with sweet italian sausage and roasted fennel. Duos can augment their meal with selections from the drink menu, which includes wines, eight beers on draught, and 11 bottled beers that long to join 99 friends on a wall. The Montville Inn, which sits atop the site of the pre–Revolutionary War Mandeville Inn, showcases a classic colonial exterior and a charming farmhouse-inspired ambiance. Overhead lighting casts a glow over the spacious dining room, which houses plank oak floors and a fireplace to warm diners chilled from harsh winters or spring breaks spent inside a walk-in freezer.
Bricks can do more than prevent a curmudgeonly wolf from blowing down your building—they can comprise an oven that makes that building swell with the scent of ambrosial paninis. At 202 Italian Bistro, a wood-burning brick oven churns out the best of Northern Italian cooking techniques and recipes, from tilapia in coconut to veal doused in a marsala wine sauce. In addition to pizza crusts sprinkled with grilled chicken and tomatoes dried by a sun—no telling which sun—the dining room’s soft lighting illuminates pork chops delivered to guests at linen-topped tables.