At Edokko, the fanfare of teppanyaki shows has been exchanged for the peace of a secluded bamboo forest—an ambiance bolstered by the stalks that grow near the entrance. As guests pass between the greenery and the clear surface of a koi pond, they enter into a gold-and-red dining room, where polished stones form mosaics of grappling sumo wrestlers on the walls. At the sushi bar, 18 seats line a granite countertop, allowing diners prime views of chefs as the chefs prepare maki rolls, nigiri, and sashimi.
It seems that a tabletop performance would only serve to disrupt the serenity of the restaurant, says a review in the Pitch, because "the food puts on its own show." Guests receive overtures in the form of detailed picture menus that stoke appetites more safely than jumper cables connected to bellybuttons. The traditional Japanese dishes range from teriyaki meats to noodle soups, and visitors can still order hibachi plates, but without the flashy routine. Specialty rolls such as the crab-and-mango roll or the rainbow-caviar roll collect fresh seafood in expertly wrapped rice and seaweed, and tempura desserts encase cheesecake, bananas, and ice cream in a crispy shell.
After acknowledging their own dinner-related stress, two busy mothers founded Social Suppers as a way to help others avoid it. Their four meal programs are designed for people who don't always have the time to prepare their own food from scratch, but still want to eat nutritious food. The staff prepares fully cooked dishes for pick-up, assembles them for future cooking, and stocks house freezers with pre-made dishes. They also help customers make their own meals within two hours in an on-site kitchen, using provided ingredients, recipes, and Emeril look-alikes. Though menus change monthly, each offers up to 16 healthy, internationally-inspired entrees, sides, and desserts featuring a variety of vegetables, meats, seafood, and poultry. The culinary curators also accommodate special requests, food allergies, and dietary needs. Each prepared meal comes in freezer-ready, labeled packaging to protect them against freezer burn, and keep them from getting into the ice cream.
Cooking up Italian staples and baking pizza has been a Walker family tradition since 1969, first at a pizza franchise and now at their own Old Shawnee Pizza and Italian Kitchen. They use the skills they've perfected over the last 40 years to make everything from their Alfredo-topped ravioli stuffed with three types of seafood to their Midwest-style pizzas on homemade dough.
They first top their inventive pizzas with sauces such as the classic red, salsa, spicy peanut, or garlic olive oil. From there, they use their multitude of unique toppings to create most any pie their customers can dream up, barring ones that bear an uncanny resemblance to Burt Reynolds. They also cook up specialty pizzas such as the Caribbean Jerk, made with jerk sauce, chicken, onions, pineapple, and roasted red peppers.
Family owned and operated, Carlo's Copa Room features an expansive dinner menu stocked with authentic, homemade Italian dishes rich in flavor and character. Matronly tastemaker Kathy "Nani" Fiorello's hand-rolled, olive-oil-fried meatballs are a homespun favorite, sidekicked by her savory sugo sauce ($9.99). Also beloved is her piquant balsamic vinaigrette, which arrives drizzled atop the classic house salad ($7.50). Swingin' stomachs croon for the ravioli Sinatra's tomato cream sauce, prosciutto, and mushrooms ($18.99). And tappy tongues perform a daring dairy-dance in anticipation of the fresh romano cheese and rich cream of the penne alfredo ($16.99, with veggies, chicken, or shrimp available for an additional charge). The succulent homemade cheesecake with strawberry sauce ($6.99) and traditional spumoni ($6) ably furnish any leftover stomach space, and Carlo's copious white and red wines satisfy sippers.
Cafe Augusta's chefs prepare hungry humans for spontaneous sprints around the world by filling their bellies with culinarily diverse edibles, including Mediterranean, Caribbean, and German cuisines. For dinner, chefs massage a grouper fillet with bahamian spice rub, then toss the taste-infused fish on a grill to exfoliate before daubing it with a tangy mango sauce ($22). Diners can also let their mouths drift in the direction of caribbean jerk steak ($24) or mediterranean garbanzo cakes ($15) smothered in skhug, artichoke bottoms, and red peppers. Small plates ($7 each) encourage tabletop bonding as diners swap with their entourage, trading a crab-and-corn cake for a flaky coconut shrimp dipped in chili jam, then bartering away titles of nobility for a piece of peanut-sauce-smothered beef satay. Lunch woos hard-to-get stomachs with sandwiches such as the smoked turkey and brie ($9.25), whose contents snuggle contentedly atop a downy ciabatta roll with pear chutney.
Tanner’s Bar and Grill suppresses sports-loving stomachs with its menu of tantalizing pub fare and cold brews. Kick off consumption with an appetizer such as the full order of Lots-O-Nachos ($7.99) or a half-order of mozzarella sticks ($4.49). Entreewise, Tanner's deep-fried charred jumbo wings ($8.99 for 10) prove that the chicken crossed the road only to tame your taste buds, while the one-pound Maniac Cheese Booga ($10.99) places a bunk bed of hamburger patties alongside a strewn-about toy chest of fries. Meat mavens can also nosh on a pulled pork sandwich ($7.49) or filet mignon ($19.99) before further exacting dominance over dairy animals with ice cream ($1.79).