Authentic Southern Italian dishes join Italian-American comfort fare at this family-owned restaurant, serving Virginians since 1976. Co-owners Anthony and Patricia Giambanco, their sons, and possibly your sons prepare a menu of popular subs, pizzas ($10.95+ for a small, $12.95+ for a large) and other Italian-American staples such as the cheese-filled manicotti ($9.95) and comfy classic lasagna ($10.95), baked in-house. The Roma steak special sub ($8.75) piles chopped sirloin steak with a flavor-hat of green peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni, onions, cheese, and sauce, all collected in a pair of bread pants. Roma’s specialty pizzas dress up the discs with options such as the Ricotta pizza ($13.50 small, $15.50 large). Traditional dishes from the Old World reach Virginia with the lightly breaded chicken parmigiana ($15.75), juicy 12-ounce Delmonico steak ($17.95), and the veal scallopini special ($19.50), bathing happily in red wine, mushrooms, and roasted red peppers.
In 1991, tired of sating their late night delivery cravings with pizza, University of Florida pals Matt Friedman and Adam Scott concocted an alternative snack in their frat house's kitchen. Many hours and tweaked sauce recipes later, the duo dispensed their brand of buffalo wings to the university’s students, selling out their stock in the first two nights. Since relocating from the frat house to its two original Gainesville storefronts, Wing Zone has opened nearly 100 locations nationwide, supplying wing lovers with boneless bites slathered in more than a dozen award-winning flavors, including nuclear habanero, garlic parm, and blue buffalo. Three of the pair’s sauces have garnered awards at the National Buffalo Wing Festival, which recently inducted Adam and Scott into the Buffalo Wing “Hall of Flame,” where they share reigniting duty every time a strong breeze extinguishes its symbolic eternal flame.
Though it’s far from the border, Nuevo Mexico Restaurante serves up dishes of traditional Mexican cuisine. The staff rolls seasoned pork or chicken burritos, stuffs taquitos with beef, or grills spinach and tucks it into quesadillas. One of the benefits of their location on the East Coast is the ability to ship in real blue crab from Maryland, granting chefs fresh ingredients for crab salads and enchiladas. One location’s decor unites rich wood accents with exposed red brick, a mural of a matador dodging a bull, and a bar that has three sides, like any argument between a husband and his wife with a crime-fighting alter-ego.
For more than 30 years, the chefs of Kabuto Japanese House of Steaks have sent cuts of sirloin steak and broccoli branches flying across a sizzling flat-top grill with the dexterity and flair of hibachi-style cooking. Stationed at traditional teppanyaki tables, chefs sear fresh vegetables and proteins before diners, catering each dish to specific dietary restrictions, food allergies, and needs to eat strictly dinosaur-shaped meats. Behind the sushi bar, seaweed-and-rice cylinders burst with cuts of fresh tuna and bright salmon, and bar seats provide unobstructed views of maki assembly lines.
Inside this elegant eatery, undulating mirror segments reflect glimpses of signature kebab and kahari plates precariously stacked along the waiter's arm. Below small ceiling lights arranged like a constellation, tables are festooned with traditional clay-oven tandoori and masala dishes—but this is a small part of Noorani's ample repertoire, which ranges from Indian and Pakistani fare to a completely separate menu of traditional Chinese dishes. The staff prepares fresh fish and chicken coated in zesty sichuan, ginger soy, and orange sauces over noodles or tender rice. Guests, meanwhile, can load plates with cuisine from the 15-item daily lunch buffet and question regulars about Noorani Kabab House's live entertainment. The merriment syllabus presents comedy nights, concerts, and some guy who used a single chopstick to eat a bowl of hot-and-sour soup.
Kebab & Biryani's menu draws dishes from all over India, from the foothills of the Himalayas in the north to the coastal provinces of Andhra and Chettinadu in the south. Fresh cilantro, fried onions, and yogurt marinades accent lamb, vegetable, or chicken biryanis from Hyderabad. Other south Indian specialties include dosa, or thin rice crepes, topped with paneer cheese, spiced potato, and chilies. For a fusion touch, chefs also populate plates with Indo-Chinese entrees such as sautéed chili fish or Hakka-style noodles.