Located in an Erie landmark eatery, la bella entices appetites with an extensive menu of homemade dishes served in a casual setting. Wanting to look perfect for its big dinner plate, the curly-leaf spinach takes a quick dip into the deep fryer ($6), while the sweet italian sausage prefers a long, hot bath in a sweet-and-sour poached-fig-and-date sauce ($8). Patrons looking for traditional Italian specialties find the ragu bolognese ($15) leading a roster of palate-pleasing pastas, as the lobster mac 'n' cheese ($25) and honey-jalapeño ahi tuna ($18) flaunt their flavors elsewhere on the menu. A nearby plant hatchery supplies the key component for vegetarian classics such as the eggplant parmesan ($18) and the eggplant veracruz ($17). Gluten-free guidelines help diners discern diet-friendly dishes such as the bittersweet chocolate-apricot cake ($8).
Rum Runners Cove serves up burgers, seafood, sandwiches, salads, and other American classics in its dining room, with views of Presque Isle Bay, thatched umbrellas, and a 40-foot atrium that give the feel of the tropics. Appetizers such as 24-ounce pretzels with three sauces prepare diners for entrees that range from grilled mahi-mahi and Maryland crab cakes to bourbon-glazed chicken and half-pound Texas steak-house burgers with banana peppers and steak sauce.
Built in 1938 as an homage to traditional German biergartens, Terry's Terrace was originally known as Terrace Gardens and served patrons frog legs and burgers from out a window. The eatery grew up and out from these modest beginnings, changing its name and spawning a pub room, a patio, 20 plasma TVs, and a beer list with more than 24 draft brews and 99 bottled beers. The fare still draws customers, who can snag classic comforts such as slow-roasted prime rib or fish 'n' chips made with Atlantic cod, though these days patrons can enjoy their menu selections from a table instead of a window frame. Drinks range from local craft beers to the flaming Spanish coffee, whose cinnamon-and-sugar rim is carefully caramelized by the breath of a newborn dragon.
At Brownie's on the Lake, chefs grace tables with burgers, hand-cut steaks, and fresh seafood from a classic American menu. As with most dinner entrees, Brownie's lobster mac 'n' cheese centers on a protein as it tucks butter-poached lobster into leagues of molten cheddar and reefs of elbow macaroni. The char-grilled New York strip steak pops with signature zip sauce, and the pan-fried Great Lakes perch wears a flaky coat of cornmeal. In addition to a mixed-greens salad or serving of house-made coleslaw, each diner can add a side such as sweet-potato wedges or herbed rice pilaf.
At Dylan’s, customers find themselves contemplating a generous spread of entrees and tapas, sushi, and an extensive wine list. For starters, patrons can slurp a bowl of clam chowder ($7) or chomp on single pieces of red-snapper (tai, $3), bluefin-tuna (toro, $8), or squid (ika, $2.75) sushi, then transition to a plate of lobster mac 'n' cheese ($8) or flash-fried coconut shrimp with pepper jelly ($11). After a sweet helping of Japanese– inari tofu-vegetable rolls (6 pieces, $5) or a squid-and-octopus tako salad ($7.50), omnivorous eaters can set their appetites at ease with a serving of beef-tenderloin tips tossed with whole-wheat pasta ($20), a 12-piece sashimi combination plate ($22.50) served with sushi rice, or a platter of frog legs ($15) in hot-pink leotards. Clogged body pipes can then be flushed with a glass of Cartlidge & Browne sauvignon blanc ($9), Latour chardonnay ($7), or Montoya pinot noir ($9).
Chef Kevin Greaves spent years travelling the world studying the spices and cuisine unique to each region. Of all that he tasted, the foods that stood out in his mind and palate hailed from three distinct locales: Thailand, Louisiana, and the Caribbean. Rather than limit himself to a single favourite, the head chef of Jambalaya Restaurant incorporated flavours from all three regions into his eclectic menu.
The menu highlights traditional dishes from each region, including pad thai from Thailand, gumbo and jambalaya from the Louisiana bayou, and curried goat from the Caribbean. In addition, Chef Greaves prepares some dishes with a fusion twist, adding jerk spices to vegetable pad thai or moulding a plate of shrimp creole into the shape of Thailand. The chef flavours each dish with the restaurant’s signature brand of spices and sauces.